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John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5391
Experience:  Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
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Im looking for a workmans comp lawyer as my question

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im looking for a workmans comp lawyer as my question pertains to thqat
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: florida
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: no not yet
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: my company is requesting that I do to a workmans comp dr tomorrow

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?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Here is my story. I work for a hotel in the administrative offices as a manager. When I was hired, the company did not do drug testing for new hires; fast forward a year and some odd months later. Through the year I have dabbled a little in recreation drug (marijuana ) on occasion, one occasion was nye but this is a totally separate issue. Over the past month or so, I have been having really bad pain in my right arm to the point it is going numb. This pain started happing because the chairs we use are horrible and are not sufficient for people sitting in them all day working at a computer desk. Everyone in the office that sits in those chairs has pains in their shoulders and necks and backs. My boss is aware and said we can order new chairs but then put it on hold then said only order a few chairs but I didn’t want to do that because its not right sine everyone has the same problems. But anyways, so I have been working 9 days straight without a day off and I woke up this morning and my whole was numb and I couldn’t move it so I sent an email to my boss “calling off” (but technically its not really a call off since I haven’t had a day off) and I needed to rest. Then I get a call from ,my HR dir saying this is workmans comp and I need to come in and file a form and go to the clinic. But….can they test me for drugs? I didnth fall out of the chair, its just a poorly made chair and my boss is cheap. If they give me a drug test and I test positive for marijuana can they fire me for this?

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.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
But can't I just refuse medical attention? U know sign the form and fill out the claim and then say I refuse medical attention and that's it? I remember one time I got hurt at work and fell and they made me file the report but I told them I was fine and I refused medical attention. Can't I just do that? Or can they force me to seek medical attention. I want to know what my rights are. I mean in reality they r making it look like I can't work when in reality called out because I hadn't had a day off in 9 days!!! And my body and arm needed to rest. Yes my arm is killing me but I'm not going to get fired for smoking pot on nye!!!

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.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Sorry one last question. I am not the one saying it's workmans comp, they r. All I said was that I my arm hurts from the chair and I needed a day off to rest, because I haven't had a day off in 9 days!!! No where did I ever say I want to start a workmans comp claim. They r the ones trying to do that. When I talked to HR I said why u guys going towards a workmans comp??? The HR dir said "well ur saying u can't work because ur arm hurts from the chair here at the office". Making it look like I'm trying to do something but the fact of the matter is I hadn't taken a day off because of the ridiculous and unreasonable work Load. So I'm looking at this as I'm on my day off and it's my personal business. You know what I mean??

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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