With the opioid epidemic sweeping across the country, including Alabama, there are many moves by government agencies to make changes to prevent further addiction issues. One area where many states are making major changes is within workers' compensation with the handling of pain medications, which are often opioids.
Some states have banned the prescription of opioids or made getting them through workers' compensation much more difficult. Alabama has not yet made such drastic changes, but the worker's compensation laws do allow for employers to get a handle on the pain management of their employees who are in the system.
According to the Alabama Department of Labor, an employer has the right to run background checks and monitor any workers' compensation situation involving pain medications. The employer can alert the physician to possible addiction cases and ask the physician to perform random drug screenings to monitor the usage of such pain medications. It is also allowed for pre-certification of pain medications to be a requirement. This just means a physician would have to get approval before prescribing or giving any pain medications or certain types of pain medications to an employee.
These steps can help an employer to stay on top of what is happening with employees with in the workers' compensation system and to prevent addictions from occurring. When employees go unchecked while on opioids, it can easily lead to an addiction, which would only complicate the employee's future with the employer. So, employers are not only protecting employees but also their businesses. This information is for education and is not legal advice.