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Bill would allow injured workers to rebut positive drug test results

Posted On: Feb. 11, 2021 1:24 PM CST


Rhode Island lawmakers on Wednesday introduced a bill that would revise workers compensation law to allow an injured worker who tested positive for alcohol or a controlled substance after an injury an opportunity to prove his or her non-intoxication to receive workers compensation.

H.B. 5473 would provide an opportunity for injured workers who are presumed to be intoxicated because they tested positive for alcohol or a non-prescribed substance at the time of the incident to rebut that presumption by establishing that they were not intoxicated and that the intoxication did not cause the injury.

Lawmakers also introduced a bill Wednesday to make it easier for state essential workers and public safety officers who contract COVID-19 to obtain workers compensation benefits.

H.B. 5474 would create a rebuttable presumption that police, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, health care workers, correctional officers, grocery, retail, transportation and delivery workers who contract coronavirus did so in the course and scope of employment and are entitled to emergency hazard health disability.

Both bills have been referred to the House labor committee and would take effect immediately if signed into law.

More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here.