Topeka Workers seeking compensation from their employers for on-the-job injuries would face new rules if their bosses suspected alcohol or drugs were involved, under a bill approved Friday by the House.
Supporters said the measure would prevent employers from covering medical expenses and providing other benefits when a worker's injury results from drug or alcohol abuse.
Critics said the bill would make it easier for employers to deny benefits to workers who, for example, have a beer at lunch.
The vote was 103-17 and sent the measure to the Senate.
State law already says an employer doesn't have to provide workers' compensation benefits if drug or alcohol use contributes to an employee's injury or death. Even with prescription or over-the-counter medicines, an employee must show the drug was being used properly.
The bill deals with disputes between employers and workers over compensation, which sometimes must be resolved by state administrative judges. The changes govern when evidence can be introduced in hearings.
Current law says the results of a drug test can't be introduced unless an employer has cause to believe a worker probably was impaired. The bill would permit results to be introduced if a worker is tested while receiving medical treatment or if an employer mandates such tests after an accident.