11.03.2011

Reminder: Ohio's Workers' Compensation Intoxication/Drug Use Statute

Ohio Revised Code Section 4123.54 provides that if, at the time of an on-the-job injury, an employee is intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance not prescribed by a physician, an injury can be declared to be not compensable. Every employer must post a written notice to employees that the results of post-accident drug/alcohol testing, or the refusal to submit to this testing, creates a rebuttable presumption that the intoxication or influence of a controlled substance not prescribed by a physician is the proximate cause of the injury. If this occurs, the employee then has the burden of proving that the injury was not caused by these circumstances.

This written notice requirement is addressed in multiple portions of this statute and in great detail. The notice must be the same size or larger than the employer's certificate of coverage, and must be posted in the same location as this certificate. One method of reinforcing the posting of this notice is by addressing it in the company’s employee handbook. A strong intoxication/drug use policy can give employees additional notice of the consequences of this conduct, warning them of potential termination as well as informing them that this wrongful conduct may leave them without the coverage of a Workers' Compensation claim should they be injured.

Roetzel’s Workers’ Compensation attorneys can assist employers in defending this type of claim and can help companies update their employee handbooks to ensure that appropriate policies are in place to support the defense of potential claims.



614.723.2028

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