On February 29, 2016, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed in a new workers’ compensation bill. The bill will change the way employers manage workers’ compensation and make it all the more important for them to review safety and employment policies. Some of the major changes that come with the bill include:
Before the bill was passed, employers were liable for providing disability benefits to injured employees during the healing period. But with the changes, employers can now deny benefits to employees whose injuries were a result of substantial fault. If a business owner were to use the substantial fault argument in a case, he/she would have to prove that the worker was guilty of: safety violations, violations of drug or alcohol policies or insubordination by ignoring specific employer derivatives.
Violations of Drug/Alcohol Policies
The law clearly states that if an employee violates an employer policy against drug and/or alcohol use and such violation cause the employee’s injury, then neither the employee, nor the employee’s dependants may receive any compensation under the law. With that being said, it will be more important than ever for employers to communicate and enforce their drug testing policies with employees. In the case of a workplace injury, the business owner will need to provide the proper documentation and be able to prove that the employee was aware of the existing drug/alcohol policy. If they can do this, they will be protected under the new workers’ compensation law.
As the laws change, one thing remains constant; The consistent need for reliable and effective drug testing in the United States. For expert consultation on a drug free workplace in Wisconsin, call Joe Reilly at National Drug Screening at 321 622 2020.