Drug Test Burden Could Shift To Employees 

Drug Test Burden Could Shift To Employees 
Posted by FoM on November 16, 2000 at 18:07:34 PT
By Julie Carr Smyth
Source: Plain Dealer
If you are injured on the job and test positive for drugs or alcohol, the state will assume you are responsible for the accident and can deny you compensation under a bill awaiting passage. And refusal to submit to a timely analysis of blood, breath or urine would mean you are automatically assumed to have been using alcohol or drugs. 
The bill adopts the same standard for on-the-job intoxication as applies to driving a car: Blood alcohol content cannot exceed .10 of 1 percent. The provision, expected to pass the Senate yesterday, was temporarily stalled by Democrats who cried constitutional foul. They called it the "guilty-until-proven-innocent" bill and demanded an amendment requiring employers to inform employees of the new ground rules. Senate leaders, mindful of the bills potential constitutional problems, huddled with lawyers late yesterday and said they hope to bring the bill before the Senate for a vote today. It has already passed the House. Sen. Dan Brady, a Cleveland Democrat, led opposition to the bill and offered the employee-notification amendment, which was defeated. If the bill does pass, it would make it more difficult for some injured workers to collect workers compensation benefits. Under current law, a worker proven to be on drugs or alcohol at the time of an on-the-job accident can lose his or her compensation. It is up to the employer, however, to prove the drugs or alcohol caused the accident. Under House Bill 122, employees would have to prove drugs and alcohol were not a cause. "The courts are going to look at this and say, We cannot believe you would not provide some kind of notice requirement to the employee ..." said Sen. Leigh Herington, a Ravenna Democrat and lawyer. Scott Nein, a Middletown Republican, opposed requiring in writing that businesses inform workers of the changes to the law. He proposed instead that lawmakers work informally with business associations to ensure workers are told. Nein said the bill would enhance workplace safety and protect businesses - particularly smaller ones - from undue liability in cases where workers are at fault. He said most big employers in the state are able to limit their liability through contracts with unions. Sen. Ben Espy, a Columbus Democrat, said if there is even a possibility that the drug test results or test refusal could be used as evidence against a worker in criminal court, the worker should know. "Any one of you who may have had a drink or two on the job may want to know your rights," he quipped. "That is just constitutional." ACLU-Ohio legal director Raymond Vazvari said the provision that shifts the burden to the employee is "based on prejudices, biases and prior conceptions that may not be relevant." "Drugs can stay in your system for a very long time, and alcohol consumption is a legal right in this country," Vazvari said. "They are placing an unjustified burden on the employee to prove his own innocence." Civil libertarians have long been outspoken in opposing mandatory drug testing, in part because the noticeable effects of some substances are long past before they exit the bloodstream. THC, the byproduct of marijuana, can stay in the blood for four to six weeks after usage, for example. Also, poppy seeds and certain over-the-counter medications can lead to false-positive results. Brady argued in committee that few guidelines were provided in the bill to ensure tests were conducted properly. Columbus, OhioNews Article Courtesy Of MapInc. Plain Dealer, The (OH)Author: Julie Carr SmythPublished: November 16, 2000Copyright: 2000 The Plain DealerAddress: 1801 Superior Ave., Cleveland, OH 44114Contact: letters plaind.comWebsite: Drug Testing Archives
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Comment #2 posted by eastern HEMPishpere on November 19, 2000 at 15:45:12 PT:
jeez that is sh*t straight from the cow's as*
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Comment #1 posted by grnchkrflg on November 17, 2000 at 06:34:07 PT:
Med. Marijuana Patient in Prison-Todd McCormick
11/15/2000Todd McCormick is in a federal prison for something that is not a crime in California, where he was arrested.The Feds came and arrested Todd, Peter McWilliams and Renee Boje for marijuana cultivation. Todd was doing research for another book on the subject, Peter had helped finance the project and Renee was hired as an illustrator.Now, Todd is in prison, Peter is dead - after being denied the one medicine that allowed him to keep his other meds 'down' and he drown in his own vomit last June. Renee is in Canada fighting extradition back to the US where she faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years.The federal judge, George H. King, forbid them from using medical marijuana as a defense or from even using medical and marijuana in the same sentence. He also forbid Peter from even mentioning his cancer or Aides. He left them no choice but to cop a plea or to seek sanctuary in Canada. Remember this in a state where the voters passed a law allowing medical marijuana over four years ago.Todd had cancer 9 times by the time he was 10. One side of his hip stopped growing about that time because of aggressive radiation (later found unnecessary for his type of cancer, but no one knew it then). He also has scoliosis and several vertebrae are fused and he suffers from nerve damage, muscle spasms and constant. His very life is in danger without the care he that needs to survive.There is a petition to President Clinton at the following:, then click HERE for more info, then petitions>USA>Todd McCormick You can read more about them at: and and or you for taking the time to sign the petition and pass it around.LJ Cardengrnchkrflg
Growing Medicine
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