Legal Ease

Workers' comp and employers' rights

To better understand the intricacies of workers' compensation, it might help to consider a fictional situation and apply the law accordingly. Suppose one of your employees was performing work on a commercial construction project. The employee's only access to the roof was via a ladder. While climbing the ladder to get to the roof, the employee lost his balance, fell and was injured. The employee was taken to the hospital, and the workers' compensation claim began.

As part of your internal investigation, you learn the employee was smoking marijuana earlier that day. You also learn the employee may have had marijuana in his vehicle when he reported to the office before taking a company truck to the job site. You are convinced the employee's marijuana use contributed to the accident when further investigation reveals the employee was driving the company truck erratically. Based on your investigation, you want to ensure the workers' compensation claim is defended vigorously because you believe the claim should be denied.

Following are some questions roofing contractors often ask immediately following a workplace accident that results in an injury.