How Workplace Alcohol Use Can Affect Your Ability to Obtain Workers’ Compensation Benefits
There is nothing wrong with kicking back with a beer or glass of wine after a tough day at work. However, this same kind of behavior can have a much different set of implications when the drinking comes before or during a workday and a workplace injury subsequently occurs. We all know that over time, alcohol can have pronounced effects on health, life style, and job performance.
However, did you also know that workplace intoxication can affect your ability to obtain workers’ compensation benefits if you suffer a workplace injury?
How Often Do Workers Use Alcohol?
According to the National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance, statistics from a recent four year period indicated that there was an annual average of 8.7 percent of full-time workers aged 18 to 64 who had used alcohol heavily in the past month. The highest rates of past month heavy alcohol use among these workers were found in the mining and construction industries.
The rate of alcohol use in these industries is particularly alarming because safety is already a great concern in these industries for both the workers and the general public since these workers often work with infrastructure and materials that we all need and utilize.
How Can Alcohol Affect Your Workers’ Compensation Claim in the State of Florida?
Florida law takes a strict approach to drug use in the workplace. As a general rule, if you are found to have been intoxicated when the work place injury occurred you will not be compensated for those injuries because it will be presumed that your injury was caused by the intoxication.
And while Florida employers do not have a legal duty to request an injured employee to undergo drug testing, you should also understand that employers qualify for certain discounts for maintaining what is considered to be a “drug-free workplace”. And employers who have implemented this kind of workplace environment and informed their employees that they have done so have every legal right to require post-injury drug testing. Additionally, and importantly, understand that this risk does not end immediately after your injury. Even if you are already receiving workers’ compensation benefits, your employer has the right to stop those benefits in the case of a positive drug test result.
Have You Been Injured in a Work-Related Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Florida workplace accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. However, as outlined above, recreational habits can negatively affect your ability to obtain the workers’ compensation benefits you would otherwise be entitled to. The good news is that if you have questions about how drug or alcohol use may affect your ability to obtain workers’ compensation benefits, we can help. We have extensive experience overcoming complex workers’ compensation issues to successfully help people in situations like yours recover benefits. The experienced Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates will help ensure that you maximize your entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits. Begin by contacting us today to schedule a free consultation.