Employers may ask employees who were recently injured in workplace accidents to take a drug test to determine if controlled substance use played a role in the accident. If you are asked to take a drug test, it’s important to understand what happens if you test positive for marijuana. Can this affect your right to workers’ compensation? Here’s what you should know:
Marijuana Laws in Oklahoma
It recently became legal to use marijuana for medicinal purposes in the state of Oklahoma. This means you cannot face legal penalties for using marijuana if you are a medical marijuana cardholder. However, there are still a number of rules and regulations in place governing the use of marijuana.
Can Marijuana Use Affect Your Right to Workers’ Compensation?
The law states that a work-related injury that occurs as a result of the use of drugs or alcohol is not covered by the workers’ compensation system. Therefore, if you test positive for marijuana, an employer may argue that you are not entitled to benefits since your injuries could have occurred as a result of drug use. But, a recent court ruling may make it harder for employers in Oklahoma to succeed with this argument.
The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals Weighs In On Marijuana Use in Workers’ Compensation Cases
The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals recently heard a case that involved a worker who was injured when using a piece of heavy machinery at work. The worker tested positive for marijuana shortly after the accident, but his co-workers said he did not exhibit any signs of impairment.
The court ruled in favor of the injured worker, allowing him to collect workers’ compensation benefits despite the fact that he tested positive for marijuana. In its ruling, the court explained that there was no evidence that the worker was actually intoxicated even though the drug was present in his system. For this reason, the court concluded that the worker should not be denied his right to workers’ compensation benefits.
This case could set the tone for many other workers’ compensation cases in the future. Thanks to this ruling, medicinal marijuana users should not worry that their legal drug use will affect their right to workers’ compensation benefits in the event they are injured at work.
Has your workers’ compensation claim been denied? If so, seek legal representation from Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Our attorneys will work tirelessly to appeal the decision and secure the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to by law. Call us at (918) 582-2500 or toll-free at (800) 722-8880 or complete the simple form below for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.