In theory, the workers’ compensation system in Florida helps protect both employees and the companies where they work. The companies benefit from minimizing their risk of financial liability when a worker gets hurt. The employees benefit from having protection against both lost wages and medical expenses that might result from an incident on the job or diagnosis of a work-related medical condition.
Unfortunately, even those who might qualify for workers’ compensation on paper still sometimes struggle to get benefits when they need them. There are numerous issues that could affect someone’s eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits or that could potentially delay the resolution of their claim.
One of the most well-known issues that could affect someone’s workers’ compensation claim is a failed drug test. Many people have heard stories about workers denied benefits after they failed a drug or alcohol test after sustaining occupational injury.
Drug testing in Florida is a routine step after a work injury
Most employers have a policy that requires drug testing whenever someone gets hurt on the job. In fact, if an organization is a Florida Drug-Free workplace, state law requires testing after any injury incident.
The good news is that drug test results do not automatically eliminate someone’s eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. A failed drug test simply provides a theoretical basis for the employer to defend against the claim. They would still need convincing evidence not only that someone was under the influence on the job but also that their chemical intoxication was directly responsible for their injury.
Although workers cannot necessarily refuse to undergo a test without consequences, they will still have the option of filing a claim for benefits and appealing a denial if the results of the test affect their benefits.
Workers need to know their rights to make use of them
Individuals who are not familiar with Florida state law and the workers’ compensation program may have a hard time accessing the benefits systems that specifically exist for their protection. People may give up on filing a claim before they ever start one, which means they definitely won’t get the support they need.
Familiarizing oneself with workers’ compensation rules with the assistance of an experienced legal professional is generally a smart move for someone who needs to claim benefits.