Marijuana or Other Drug Use as Grounds to Deny Otherwise Compensable Claim
Georgia’s workers’ compensation law provides that an injury to an employee arising out of and in the course of employment shall be considered a compensable injury, thereby making the employee eligible for wage benefits and medical care
The law – Section 34-9-17 of the Official Code of Georgia – also provides that an employer may deny an otherwise payable claim if a blood test reveals the presence of “any amount of marijuana” or other controlled substance in a blood test administered within 8 hours of the work accident.
- Specifically the law provides that a “rebuttable presumption” arises that the accident was cause by the use of marijuana or the controlled substance. The burden falls on the claimant to show otherwise.
- Failure to submit to an employer demanded blood test also creates this rebuttable presumption.
Getting past this rebuttable presumption is difficult and cases involving employees who were under the influence often settle for less money and are hotly contested by employers and their insurance company.