Some employers are the worst. There’s a factory just south of Chicago that would fit that description.
The story I was told by one of their employees was that he hurt his shoulder while working on a machine. Nobody disputes that. When he talked to his boss about it, he was told the company protocol was ice and ibuprofen and then if it still hurt in a week they’d send him to the company clinic. Oh and by the way, that clinic is over an hour away from the factory.
So here it is a week later and the worker tells his boss he wants to see a doctor. The boss says he can do that, but would have to take a drug test first. This worker was sober when he got hurt, but, as is legal in Illinois, has taken some marijuana gummies to help him sleep with this shoulder pain.
He wanted to know if they could legally drug test him a week later.
Before I answer that, this company is violating the law. The worker doesn’t have to follow their protocol after getting hurt. He could have and should have gone to the doctor. Even now he doesn’t need their permission to see a doctor and isn’t limited to their far-away clinic. All of this bad behavior by the company is designed to help them save money and screw the hard-working employees.
Now back to the question at hand. Yes, they can drug test you, but it won’t have any relevance to your work comp case. A drug test seven days later doesn’t show that you were inebriated when you got injured. And in this case, the employee was toward the end of their shift when it happened and was around other people the whole time.
So even if he fails the drug test, he has a right to work comp benefits in Illinois due to the fact that he can prove the drug test is worthless and that other evidence shows he was sober at the time.
It’s all a sham and they are basically trying to scare him. He’s understandably worried he will get fired if he fails the drug test. That makes sense. But his situation will be way worse if he doesn’t go to a doctor, has a major injury, and suddenly can’t work effectively or at all. The longer he delays care, the harder it is to prove his problems are work-related. So if he doesn’t go to the doctor, he might end up with no job, no way to pay for his medical care, and no income.
Illinois work comp laws protect you and don’t reward scummy employers like this one. Focus on your health, be honest, and go from there. In 98% of cases when you do that, things work out best for you in the long run. And if you have worries, you can contact us any time for a free, confidential consultation.