Law Office of James M. Hoffmann Articles Why You Always Need to Come to Work Sober

Why You Always Need to Come to Work Sober

By James Hoffmann  Oct. 9, 2018 4:00p

Though some employees would never come to work intoxicated, others frequently do. Additionally, some workers may go to work under the influence without fully realizing it, due to their substance being a legal medication. Either way, a lack of sobriety puts your health, coworkers, and career at risk. Additionally, if you hurt yourself while under the influence, you may receive some bad news when you consult with a work injury lawyer.

Most Common Mind-Altering Substances

There are hundreds of mind-altering substances out there, but alcohol, marijuana, pain medication, and allergy medication are the most common of them. Them being present on this list does not mean you cannot take the medicines you need, though. Instead, make sure that you stay under the recommended dose and do not take so much that you become unsafe. Additionally, if you ever feel unfit to work due to a medication, you should always stop what you are doing.

Your Safety

When you are under the influence, you suffer poor motor skills, slowed reaction time, and bad judgment. Each of these factors can lead to a workplace injury, and when experienced in conjunction, are especially dangerous. Whether you’re carrying out a complicated task or a routine one, a lack of sobriety puts you at risk.

The Safety of Others

When drunk drivers get into car accidents, they may come out unscathed. Unfortunately, the driver that they collide with often ends up with a severe injury. This same effect can happen at work. If you do not do your job correctly, that action could have a ripple effect and hurt somebody else that relies on you.

Getting Fired

This is an obvious one. If you are under the influence of an illicit drug or one that you do not have a prescription for, your job is at risk. Even if you do not make a mistake, your company could still drug test you and find that chemical in your system. For this reason, coming to work intoxicated can instantly ruin a career.

Workers’ Compensation Denial

If you are injured at work, one of the things your employer may do is ask you about your state of mind. For certain substances, like alcohol, they can test you right away for intoxication. If you or a test reveals that you were not sober at the time of the incident, you will almost certainly be denied workers’ compensation. The exceptions to this rule are over the counter medication or a substance that you have a prescription for. In these cases, your benefits could be safe.

The first thing you should take away from this article is to never work while intoxicated. Whether that is alcohol, marijuana, or anything else, you should not come to work while under the influence. Second, you should understand what drug use means for your workers’ compensation potential. If the drug is recreational, your chances are low. If it is over the counter or prescribed, your odds are much better. Of course, this is best discussed with an experienced workers compensation lawyer.

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