Am I Required To Submit To A Drug Test? Employer Drug Testing In Louisiana Workers Compensation Cases
It is rare that there is a workplace that allows its employees to take drugs and be intoxicated while on the job. Most people are aware that their workplaces have policies against using alcohol and drugs while at work, or at least are aware that that is the norm universally in the workplace. However, despite it being both wildly inappropriate, sometimes illegal, and almost always risky and dangerous, employees still sometimes show up to the job already intoxicated or with drugs ready to take a hit while at work. Obviously, doing drugs at work, especially in jobs where the use of heavy equipment, tools, heights, heat, or high speeds are involved, is extremely dangerous and can lead to workplace accidents and even death. But what happens when an employee who gets injured at work is suspected to be under the influence of drugs and alcohol by their employer? Are they required to submit to a drug test under Louisiana laws?
The short answer is yes. Under the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act, “[f]or the purposes of [the Workers’ Compensation Act], the employer has the right to administer drug and alcohol testing or demand the employee submit himself to drug and alcohol testing immediately after the alleged job accident. Accordingly, under the law, employers in Louisiana can require an employee to take a drug test after a workplace accident occurs. Furthermore, the Act goes on to establish that, “[i]f the employee refuses to submit himself to drug and alcohol testing immediately after the alleged job accident, then it shall be presumed that the employee was intoxicated at the time of the accident.” Thus, importantly, under Louisiana Workers’ Compensation laws, not only can an employer require an employee to submit to a drug test after a workplace accident occurs, but if the employee refuses, the court will presume that the employee was intoxicated at the time of the accident. Intoxication at the time of the accident is a defense, and workers’ compensation can be denied for this reason.
Help with Your Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Case
Fortunately, most workers avoid going to work while impaired by alcohol and drugs, and most workers practice other smart and reasonable precautions to prevent serious and fatal workplace accidents. However, even the most stone-cold-sober and careful person can find themselves unable to work after an unforeseen workplace accident occurs. If you have been injured on the job and are unable to work, it is best to speak to an experienced Louisiana workers’ compensation attorney about your rights and entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits. The skilled and experienced Louisiana workers’ compensation lawyers at Lunsford Baskin & Priebe offer a free and confidential consultation to learn about your workplace accident and to see if they can fight with you to get workers’ compensation benefits due. Contact the lawyers at Lunsford Baskin & Priebe today and speak to a lawyer about your rights for free.