When you work for a non-subscriber employer in Texas, you are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured at your job. Instead, you must prove your employer’s negligence in causing the incident. Your employer is deprived of certain defenses when opting out of providing workers’ compensation to employees. For example, your employer would be 100 percent responsible for compensating you if your employer was as little as one percent at fault in causing your injuries. However, your employer is not left without defenses to your claim. One defense that he could raise is the employee intoxication defense.
What Is the Employee Intoxication Defense?
The employee intoxication defense provides that an employee is not entitled to compensation for his injuries if his intoxication caused them. A worker can be intoxicated by the following under this defense:
- Other illegal substances
Your employer may try to raise this defense when you really were not intoxicated or there was some other cause of your injuries. For example, if you went to lunch with a co-worker and had a beer, your employer could raise this defense. However, you may not have been intoxicated. In addition, there could have been a totally different reason for the incident. Equipment defects or a co-worker’s negligence may have been the cause.
Non-subscriber employers can require a worker to submit to a post-incident drug test. Unfortunately, the problem with this is that it can easily result in a false positive test. Alcohol can remain in a person’s system for up to three to four days. Illegal drugs can remain in a person’s system for even longer. For example, marijuana use can show up on a drug test for up to 30 days after the last use.
You can defeat your employer’s use of the employee intoxication defense and other defenses with the help of an experienced workplace injury attorney. The legal team at the Hart Law Firm has helped many employees who work for non-subscriber employers obtain the compensation they deserved for their injuries. To learn how we can help your pursue your claim, contact us online or call our office directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. We help injured workers throughout Texas including Arlington, North Richland, Grapevine, Bedford, Hurst, Euless, Irving and all points in between.