WORKERS COMP CLAIMS; THE BEST DEFENSE IS A STRONG OFFENSE

1When you're fighting a questionable Workers Compensation claim in court, you'll need to base your defense on a strong administrative foundation.

Effective workplace policies and procedures should include - at a minimum:

  • A legally compliant application for hire. What kind of information are you getting from the individual? Do you do background checks? Have you asked the right questions? Do you have enough good information about this individual on the application to help defend yourself, if needed?
  • Legally compliant interview process. Recent changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act mean that you'll need to be careful during job interviews in asking questions about intoxication, for example.
  • Post-offer/pre-placement medical exam. Are you using these to look for drug use? Do you meet state or federal requirements? Do you have quality policies and procedures to enforce these standards?
  • Legally enforceable drug-screen program. Does your program comply with state and federal regulations? Can you require workers to take a drug screening after an injury? What are the permissible levels of intoxication?

In addition, having effective descriptions and job function analyses will help you in three ways:

  1. They work well in the initial hiring process because you can give them to the individual and define the job is to avoid misunderstandings - this will help filter out people who are not well suited for the job.
  2. You can give them to a doctor who can determine suitability to perform the job after an injury.
  3. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you can determine what restrictions a disabled employee might need, and whether this person can perform the essential functions of the job.

Our Workers Compensation specialists stand ready to offer their advice at any time.

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