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Workers’ comp marijuana denial goes up in smoke

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in Human Resources

After a third-year apprentice for construction contractor Lenny Szarek Inc. fell through a hole in a second-story floor, he tested positive for marijuana and cocaine. Based on the drug test results, the McHenry-based company’s workers’ comp carrier denied the claim.

But the worker—who was paralyzed by the accident—appealed. The Illinois Industrial Commission reinstated his claim and now a state appeals court has agreed.

It ruled that the workers’ comp claim could be denied only if drug use was the sole cause of the accident. Because the hole was a hazard unrelated to the worker’s drug use, the carrier must pay the claim.

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