New federal rules going into effect soon will prevent employers from automatically drug-testing workers following a workplace accident or rewarding employees for avoiding accidents altogether. The fines for breaking the rules are doubling to ensure compliance.
Mandatory Drug Testing Discouraged
Many employers have long required drug or alcohol tests for all workers who have had accidents on the job. However OSHA believes mandatory testing discourages workers from reporting injuries. Instead, employers will likely adopt discretionary testing procedures that will depend on the circumstances of each incident to comply with the new rules.
Rewarding Employees Under Fire
The practice of rewarding workers if they avoid accidents is also under fire. OSHA believes offering incentives such as gift cards, pizza parties and other tangible rewards creates an environment where workers will pressure each other not to report injuries. OSHA wants to see programs that encourage safety but do not discourage reporting, so employers will have to rethink their approach in the future.
Get Help With Your Employment Law Issue
If you or a family member has been injured at work, contact the workers’ compensation Law Offices of McDonald, Woodward & Carlson PC for help. Our attorneys have extensive experience with Iowa workers’ compensation cases and we welcome the opportunity to assist you and your family.