Law firm hails Iowa moves on drug testing and workers' comp
Employers in Iowa should be celebrating after Gov. Terry Branstad signed workers’ compensation reform legislation that strengthens their cases against employees who fail drug or alcohol tests, a Chicago law firm said recently.
Under the law, when employers present a positive drug or alcohol test, the employee will be presumed to have been intoxicated at the time of his or her injury, with intoxication being a major factor in causing the injury.
Daniel Boddicker, who wrote the online article for Keefe, Campbell, Biery & Associates, said the new law shifts the burden of proof in an alcohol- or drug-related denial of workers' compensation benefits to the employee.
Before the legislation was sent to the governor, it was stripped of a provision capping benefits at age 67 and one changing the burden of proof for injuries. Once it landed on Branstad’s desk, he signed it after one day.
Further provisions introduced in the law include disallowing whole-person impairment ratings for shoulder injuries, removing partial disability compensation for workers receiving benefits for permanent total disabilities, and requiring the Iowa Workforce Development Department to retrain workers at community colleges to return them to the workforce.
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