If I Hurt My Back at Work Will They Drug Test Me?

drug testing after a work injury

If you’re wondering, “if I hurt my back at work will they drug test me?” in Missouri, you’re not alone. Missouri is one of the few states without laws about drug testing in private employment.

This means that if your employer establishes routine drug tests, there is no actual law telling them when, how, or why these tests can or cannot be done. However, if you’ve sustained a workplace injury and your employers make you take a drug test you may be wondering if your rights being ignored.

Understanding the Law

While you’re getting treated for a workplace injury, it is very likely to be put on some medication to help your recovery. And these drugs can appear on an employer-mandated drug test, in which case the injured worker may be worried that their job could potentially be in danger.

OSHA believes that post-accident drug testing is perfectly fine unless it is being done as a way to retaliate against the employee. This means that if you’re going back to work after an injury and your employer asks you to take a drug test, legally they are allowed to do it.

Is This a Problem?

If the drugs you are taking are part of your worker’s compensation treatment and have been prescribed by your doctor, then no, taking a drug test is not a problem. Even if the tests come back positive with a specific substance, as long as the substance at hand is part of your official treatment, you should not face any consequences.

The problem has to do with finding other substances, for which you do not have a prescription. For instance, if you use an illegal substance as a way to control your pain, and the drug tests come back positive, you will likely face a serious problem.

You Have Rights Too

Workers should know that although there’s nothing stopping their employers from asking them for a drug test, employees always have the right to refuse, especially if they believe the test is just an opportunity for retaliation.

Your employer only has the right to ask for a drug test after a work accident as a safety measure, to ensure that you and your co-workers aren’t being put at risk. Speak with an experienced workers compensation attorney to learn more about your legal rights.

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Updated: November 16, 2023