Intoxication Defense – Denial of Workers Compensation Claim - States vary in their willingness to allow employers to use an injured worker's intoxication as a defense against a claim for compensation. State laws' intoxication defenses generally fall into one of three rough categories: defenses that do not depend on causation; defenses that require some form of proximate causation between intoxication and injury; and defenses that require that intoxication be the sole cause of injury. Always check with your insurance company and your attorney when you have a refusal or positive post-accident test after an injury.
Employers in Maine must use extreme caution when terminating an employee or not hiring an applicant due to a positive drug test for marijuana. Maine’s recreational marijuana law impacts workplace drug testing. The law prohibits employers from taking adverse employment actions for off-premises marijuana use. There is confusion as evidenced by a coment from the Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) following the February 1, 2018 effective date of the recreational marijuana law. Here is the public comment from the MDOL:
In Maine, marijuana is still on the list of what can be tested. Testing is only allowed if a company has a drug testing policy that has been approved by the Maine Department of Labor (MDOL). The Department cannot provide legal advice and we encourage employers to consult with private legal counsel regarding the law. Additionally, since the recreational law is overseen by the Maine Department of Agriculture and medical marijuana law is overseen by Maine Department of Health and Human Services, MDOL can approve testing based on our own law but we cannot say whether taking disciplinary action or refusing to hire someone will violate their laws, which is why the Department recommends seeking legal guidance prior to making those decisions.
This chart is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for legal guidance. State and local law varies greatly; therefore, you are advised to consult experienced legal counsel during the development or edit of your actual substance abuse testing program and with any questions that follow.
State Law Maine