Marijuana legalization is a hotly debated topic, especially in the context of legalization for medical use. Though still federally illegal, some states have decriminalized, even legalized, the drug. In fact, Alaska, Washington, Colorado and Oregon have gone a step further and legalized marijuana for recreational use. That being said, these recent changes in law have caused much confusion and conflict in the workplace. If you fail a drug test in these states, can you still be reprimanded or fired? What about if you fail a drug test after being the victim of a workplace accident? This gray area surrounding drug use and the workplace is an emerging issue across the United States.
To put it simply, your job has the right to enforce an anti-drug policy if it so chooses. Even in states that support the recreational use of marijuana, these laws have no sway with your company’s internal policies. Of course, it is still explicitly illegal to consume, sell or carry marijuana in Florida, so this makes our state’s situation a bit simpler to digest.
After being injured while on the job, can you still claim workers’ compensation if you fail a drug test? Well, yes, though failing a drug test will not help your case. A vital aspect of such cases is proving that you were in no way responsible for your injury. The knee-jerk reaction to discovering a failed drug test, even with prescribed drugs, is to assume that you were inebriated at the time of the accident, and at very least contributed to your own injuries.
As Find Law describes, compensation can be denied if:
- You caused your own injuries
- You were violating company policy or law
- You were not working at the time of the injury
- Your injury was caused by your intoxication
If you fail a drug test, do you automatically lose your workers comp case? Not necessarily, but the deck will absolutely be stacked against you. Our advice: stay clean, especially if your job has a zero-tolerance policy on drug use. Stay safe, and if you find yourself in need of guidance with your personal injury or workers’ comp claim, call us immediately at 407-841-7699.