Will a Failed Drug Test Hurt Your Workers’ Comp Claim?


Posted by: Chris

Oklahoma employees injured in a workplace accident may be asked to submit to a drug test to determine if a controlled substance played any part in their accident. Some Oklahoma employers may require this, and it is their right to do so if they have a written policy in place and employees have been notified about it at least 30 days prior to testing.

Any drug or alcohol policy affecting Oklahoma employees must comply with the state’s Standards for Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Act. The policy must be posted in the workplace and a copy personally delivered to each employee in person or via email or mail. Employers must pay for testing and offer an assistance program to all employees.

Can illegal drug use affect your right to workers’ compensation?

Oklahoma law states that a work-related injury that occurs as a result of the use of drugs or alcohol is not covered by the workers’ compensation system. Therefore, if you test positive for an illegal drug, an employer may argue that you are not entitled to benefits since your injuries could have occurred as a result of drug use. However, a 2018 court ruling may make it harder for employers in Oklahoma to succeed with this argument.

In Rose v. Berry Plastics Corp., an injured worker tested positive for marijuana shortly after being injured by a piece of heavy machinery at work. At trial, his co-workers testified that he did not show any signs of impairment prior to the accident. The court ruled in the worker’s favor, allowing him to collect workers’ compensation benefits despite testing positive for marijuana.

While Oklahoma permits the use of marijuana for medical purposes if prescribed by a doctor, employers may prohibit its use if such use would result in intoxication at work.

Has your workers’ compensation claim been denied? If so, seek legal representation from Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Our attorneys will work tirelessly to appeal the decision and secure the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to by law. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll-free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.