Missed Work and Drug test results

I have tried researching this and cannot seem to find any regulations, laws on this.  Our company does in house drug tests for post accidents, if there is a positive result we send to the hospital for further testing, they in turn send out for a 2nd opinion.  The final results came back negative and the employee can return to work.  Now this is an hourly employee who at this time has missed 4 days of work,  we don't have a policy or procedure on paying missed wages while waiting on results?  Can anyone provide me with any guidelines 


  • 8 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • What state are you in? Many times, state law governs this type of issue.
  • I have the same situation and I'm in California. Thanks
  • You indicated this was for a post accident employee.  Was this employee hurt on the job.  If so, depending on what State you are in, the applicable workers' compensation statutes would apply.  Now, has the employee been out due to his/her accident, or simply because your company policies dictate the employee not return to work until tests results.  If out because of injury, workers' compensation statutes regulating your state applies and you should look towards them with regards to payment due to being out due to injury on the job. 

  • Each state regulates the waiting period before loss time is paid on work-related injuries.  I doubt the waiting period for a drug test would apply.

    Does your Drug and Alcohol Policy state how to handle situations such as yours?  Our policy specifically spells it out:

    However, the Company may temporarily suspend or transfer an employee pending the outcome of the confirmatory test, if the Company believes that it is reasonably necessary to do so to protect the health and/or safety of the employee, other employees, or the public.  An employee who was suspended without pay pending the outcome of the confirmatory test will be reinstated with back pay if the outcome of the confirmatory test is negative.

    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />In other words, unless management has a belief the employee IS under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, they come back to work.  We just do not let them drive the power equipment until we get the results back.

      We have locations in MN, MI, MD, NV and SC

     Good luck; hope this helps



  • We are a Native American Gaming Facility, so state employment laws don't apply to us. That said, in a situation such as yours, our policy states that we would pay thm their wages for all lost time that they had been scheduled for. The reason for this is that they were taken off schedule at our discretion and at no fault of their own. To operate in any other fashion would create an undeserved hardship on the employee.
  • If your employee was not injured in this work accident obviously workers' compensation would not be involved.  If you are not able to find any state laws then you will need to review past practices.   If your company has in the past paid employees while waiting on a post accident drug test then it will be very difficult to stop. If you are a union shop, past practices will be important.  If you don't have any past practices, then you will need to write a company policy regarding post accident pay. 

  • In the past here is what I have done, if the company put the person on unpaid leave pending the results, than if the results came back negative, we paid the employee for the time missed. If the results came back positive, the employee was terminated and was not paid for the time off.



  • Thank you for all the responses they have been very helpful.  I should have been clearer in my original email, that the post accident was not workers comp, but damage to a guests vehicle.  We did end up paying for missed time and will now have a past practice to go by. 


    Thanks again!  This board is very helpful and informative.



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