74.3% of current admitted drug users are employed. Drug and alcohol use is a workers compensation issue. Did you know that according to Attorney Bill Judge, in every state you could defeat a workers compensation claim if the employee was intoxicated and that intoxication contributed to the cause of the accident.
In December of 2002 when an employer in Iowa wanted to challenge a $1.5 million workers compensation claim he was told that it couldn't be done. Yet, they did it! That employer was self-insured to $350,000. Paying this claim would have put them out of business! It was stopped because they did their homework and discovered that the Iowa Supreme Court had, just months earlier, affirmed the denial of benefits to a claimant that was positive for alcohol at 0.09. Garcia v. Naylor Concrete Co. and National American Insurance, 650 N.W.2d 87, (Ia. S. Ct., Number: 88 / 01-0341 (7/17/02)). The claimant in the case was positive for cocaine and alcohol at 0.289.
How do you do it? No one would tell you that every positive drug or alcohol test will result in a denial of a claim. But, that's where you start. If you're not doing post-accident testing you're not even in the game. You have to conduct post-accident/injury drug/alcohol tests; and you must conduct those tests in accordance with the rules that apply - per state law. When there is a positive post-accident tests it must be determined if that could start the intoxication defense.
Here's how it works? An injury occurs. A drug test is performed and is reported back positive. Based upon a series of factors, you decide if that claim should be denied. If the decision is to challenge, then spring into action.
Bill Judge is an attorneywho, for the past 24 years, has concentrated his practice on research, consultation, and management training related to the legal issues of substance abuse in the workplace and in our nation's schools. Attorney Judge, JD, LLM can be reached at:708-771-9474
Try the WC Cost Calculatorto show the REAL COST of work comp. Look at WC 101 for the basics about workers comp. Workers' Comp Kit® is a web-based online Assessment, Benchmarking and Cost Containment system for employers. It provides all the materials needed to reduce your costs significantly in 85% less time than if you designed a program from scratch.
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws are different. Consult with your corporate legal counsel before implementing any cost containment programs.