Is Your Workplace Prepared for Legal Marijuana?

| posted in Blog

Christina Barbuto has Crohn’s disease, a debilitating gastrointestinal disorder. Her physician prescribed medical marijuana to treat the symptoms, as allowed by Massachusetts state law. When she interviewed for a job that required a drug test, she informed her would-be supervisor of her condition and prescription. The supervisor assured her that this would not be a problem, and she got the job. But, after her first day of work, a representative of her employer’s human resources department called her at home and fired her for failing the drug test. She sued the company for discrimination, and in July 2017 the Massachusetts…
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Three Troubling Trends Affecting Workers’ Comp

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

While U.S. employers are seeing fewer industrial accidents thanks to more employers putting a premium on workplace safety, some emerging trends threaten to seriously affect this trend and usher in higher workers’ comp premiums. Today, it’s not enough to just keep a safe workplace. You should have policies in place to avoid these emerging threats – and also instill them in management. Three particularly troubling trends are as follows: More workers injured in traffic accidents This is a biggie and one that’s harder for employers to manage. There has been a significant uptick in motor vehicle accidents in the last…
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OSHA Sets Limits on Drug Testing Injured Workers

| posted in Blog

Employers are not allowed to have a blanket policy of requiring drug and alcohol tests after a workplace injury as it may discourage injury reporting, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has said in an interpretation letter. It issued the letter in response to a company’s blanket policy after some intoxicated workers had been injured on the job, and it comes as a new OSHA regulation on post-injury testing is slated to take effect at the start of 2017. These recent actions should spur any employer with a policy of testing its workers post-accident to revisit its rules so…
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Drug Testing in Workers’ Comp Skyrockets

| posted in Blog

Drug testing of injured workers by treating doctors has skyrocketed over the past seven years as painkiller abuse continues and physicians want to monitor their patients for staying with their prescribed drug regimen. The use of urine drug testing on injured workers in California increased 2,431% between 2007 and 2014, according to the California Workers’ Compensation Institute (CWCI). During that period, urine drug tests grew from 10% to 59% of all California workers’ compensation laboratory services, while drug testing reimbursements increased from 23% to 77% of all lab payments in the system. The rapid increase reflects the growing concern among…
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