Worker's Positive Drug Test not Grounds for Benefits Denial

August 5, 2008 ( - A state of Ohio appellate court has thrown out a decision by the Industrial Commission of Ohio denying an employee who tested positive for cocaine temporary total disability compensation.

The 10 th District Court of Appeals issued the ruling in a case involving Alice M. Bogan, an employee at the Tomasco Mulciber auto manufacturing plant in Columbus, Ohio, who had been on Family Medical Leave Act absence.According to the appellate court decision Bogan only went to the plant on the day of the positive drug test to drop off paperwork from her doctor relating to her work restrictions.

“She was not working or reporting for work,” the appellate judges asserted. The state Industrial Commission, in denying Bogan benefits, had ruled that she “voluntarily abandoned her employment” by violating an employee handbook prohibition against the use of illegal drugs in the workplace or reporting to work under their influence.

The appellate judges threw out the commission’s benefits denial and sent the case back for additional hearings on the level of benefits to which Bogan is entitled.

The Ohio court’s ruling is available here .