If you get injured on the job, you can draw unemployment compensation benefits. Many workers in New York City take that as a given. But there are situations where an employee gets injured and their workers’ comp benefits may be in jeopardy due to their own actions.
One of those possible scenarios is if the injured employee tests positive for drug use after the accident. Here’s how a post-injury drug test could result in your being denied benefits.
If your employer determines that you got hurt due to your being either drunk or on drugs, the company can deny your worker’s compensation benefits. They can also deny benefits if they show that you violated a company policy or the law. Presumably, using illegal drugs is both a policy violation as well as a legal breach.
What about marijuana use, you might argue. You smoke a joint sometimes in the evening, well after you’ve clocked out of the job. You are completely sober when you clock back in and not under the influence of marijuana, yet your test will still indicate positive. It’s in that gray area where an employer will usually state that you are in violation of the federal prohibition against marijuana usage.
This is why, at least until there is a change in the marijuana laws at the federal level, that it is best for workers not to smoke pot on their off hours. Regardless of your present situation with a post-accident drug test, a New York City attorney who is familiar with on-the-job accidents may be able to help you fight for the benefits that you deserve.