Lawyer discusses the workers’ comp drug test in Michigan and explains your legal rights.
We get many telephone calls and emails from employees who are worried about failing their workers’ comp drug test in Michigan. It is the usually the first thought that comes to mind when being sent to the employer clinic. This is especially true now that recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan. Here is some information about getting hurt at work and your legal rights.
Michigan workers’ comp law provides benefits to employees hurt on-the-job. This includes unlimited medical treatment, 80% lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation services. It is a safety net for employees who need medical care are/or unable to work because of a workplace accident. In exchange, employers receive immunity from civil lawsuits and do not have to pay additional damages.
Michigan workers’ comp benefits should be paid regardless of employee fault. It does not matter if the accident was caused by employee negligence, horseplay, or general carelessness. However, there are some instances when these claims might be disputed. This usually occurs when an employee fails a workers’ comp drug test in Michigan.
Employees who are found to be intoxicated at the time of injury will be automatically disqualified from collecting workers’ comp benefits. However, it is not enough that an employee simply fails a workers’ comp drug test in Michigan. This is because marijuana and other substances remain in the system for days or weeks after use. It should not be assumed that an employee was intoxicated just because he or she tested positive. It is equally possible that the employee was smoking marijuana during his or her off hours.
Watch out for testimony from coworkers who say intoxication played a role in the accident. This evidence can be used against you at trial. It will be up to the magistrate to decide who is telling the truth. Our experience shows that coworkers will always protect themselves and will do so at another person’s expense.
It also possible for a medical expert to testify that drugs were found to be in a high enough concentration that intoxication was likely at the time of accident. This is evidence that can also be used against an employee at trial.
We have also seen employers take a strong position against drug use in the workplace. Failing a workers’ comp drug test in Michigan can result in termination of employment. When this happens, the employee can lose out on wage loss benefits even if no proof of on-the-job intoxication exists. The idea is that light duty work is available but for the employee’s misconduct and getting fired. This can be challenged in court if the employer does not have a strictly enforced anti-drug use policy.
We have seen many cases where drug use is common among coworkers and the injured employee is unfairly singled out. Refusing a workers’ comp drug test in Michigan will typically result in an automatic dispute. It is a good idea to speak with an experienced lawyer should this occur.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 201-9497 for a free consultation today.