Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. My name is John. I have over 13 years of legal and consulting experience in this area. I’m happy to assist you with your question today.
What specifically is your question on Florida workers compensation?
I see, you're caught in a trap here. It is perfectly legal for employers to require drug testing upon workers comp injury report. The theory being that if the WC insurance carrier can prove your injury was related to the use of drug/alch then they can get out of paying the claim. Further, the employer can use that information to discipline or discharge you - i.e., even if the drug use didn't affect your performance on the job, they can still terminate for the positive test.
I think your only way really out of this is to call back workers comp and say it's fine now, it's not a workers comp injury but rather, you just woke up with a pain that you cannot attribute to work. Even though there is a slight possibility of you developing a WC injury based on prolonged sitting at a particular type of chair, that's going to be a difficult case to prove anyway because you'd have to prove it arose out of work in any event, which would be tough given you don't have a specific instance to point to where it turned debilitating. So, that's the best I can tell you - call HR and tell them there's a misunderstanding, this is not work related, you injured it sleeping etc., and you're ready to come back to work tomorrow. If they disagree and insist you go for a drug test, then you have to decide - do you risk the termination for a possible positive drug test, or do you just resign. Or, you could take it, see if they make an issue out of it, and ask to resign if they do.
These policies vary by workplace and insurer. Generally if you refuse, you certainly lose your workers comp claim, but it's in the employer's discretion as to how they handle the refusal of treatment or drug test....if they find that an offense for which discipline/discharge may be brought, that's in their prerogative. In short, yes your employer can insist you get the medical or discipline/discharge you if you refuse.
You don't have to say "I want workers comp" to make a workers comp claim. All you have to do is notify the employer or its insurer that you suffered an on the job injury and the law charges them with the , which apparently your employer took this as such. This is why my best thought for you is to just tell them you don't want to pursue it as a WC matter, you feel better and will return to work.
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