Many companies claim to have a drug-free workplace. In reality, most do not comply with the laws that mandate what standards a company has to maintain in order to be a drug-free workplace. Companies that claim to be drug-free workplaces but do not randomly drug test every employee in the company, from the Chairman of the Board to a minimum-wage employee, will not pass the legal test for being a drug-free workplace. Most companies do not want to spend the money to do the required drug testing, or they do not want the managers, supervisors and officers of the company to have to take drug tests.
If an employee who is on medication prescribed by a physician failed a drug test, they cannot be terminated for failing the test. If a person goes to the company and advises them that he has a drug problem and asks for help and treatment, it would be unlawful for that person to be fired because he or she self-reported the drug usage and requested help.
If a co-employee is using drugs and co-workers know about it, they should report it to the supervisor or company management. A worker on illegal and non-prescription drugs is an accident waiting to happen. Sometimes, even those on prescribed drugs can cause accidents, even if the doctor said it is OK for this person to perform his or her work. Operating vehicles or machinery while using drugs elevates the risk of injury to either the drug-using employee, a co-worker, or the public at large. A person driving a vehicle on our highways can be charged and convicted of D.U.I. (Driving Under the Influence), even if it is due to a prescribed medication.
We at Wieland, Hilado & DeLattre have seen many accidents that were caused by the use of drugs in the workplace. Remember, alcohol is a drug and can be just as dangerous in the workplace or on the highway as Oxycodone. When such an accident happens, we can seek punitive damages as well. Punitive damages are imposed to punish the person or the company for such actions and to try to prevent anything like that from happening in the future. A company that knowingly allows its employees to drink alcohol or use drugs may be held responsible for an innocent person being injured because of the intentional actions it allowed to exist.
The constitutional amendment to allow medically prescribed marijuana is going to be on the ballot this year. If it passes, it will simply be another drug which can be prescribed by physicians. In many cases, it is a very useful and helpful drug for many medical conditions, which has been proven by medical studies. Again, just because it may be a legally prescribed drug does not mean that the person arrested for D.U.I. cannot be prosecuted and convicted if the use of the drug is proven to affect the driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Any drug that affects the ability of a person to safely do their job or safely operate machinery or a motor vehicle is an accident waiting to happen and sometimes it will cause injuries to innocent people. The attorneys at Wieland, Hilado & DeLattre, can help sort through these issues and ensure innocent people are compensated when these injuries happen.
If you, a friend or a loved one are unfortunately injured as a result of an accident or have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Wieland, Hilado & DeLattre, P.A. at (407) 841-7699. For additional resources, keep checking our blog, LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more helpful hints and to always be informed about best practices in law.