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Old 02-13-2013, 08:29 AM
 
476 posts, read 425,516 times
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I have a friend who is really worried about her job due to an ridiculously strict drug policy at her company. The trouble started two weeks ago when she hurt her back and her doctor prescribed Vicoden for the pain. She didn't start on the meds right away and a week later, she sprained her knee while at work. Since this happened on company property, it became a worker's comp case.

The worker's comp policy required that she immediately submit to a drug test. Since she was still on the Vicoden, it showed up on the test and raised alarms. She told them that she had a legal prescription for the drug. Now here's the crazy part. They are saying she used the drug beyond the expiration date which should have been seven days. She's like, wth, no one told me the drugs have an expiration date. She assumed like I would that you have a legal right to take the drugs whenever you want.

Furthermore, nothing on the script or pharmacy documentation told her that she must complete the medication within seven days. One manager at the company told her that this could be grounds for termination. Her supervisor told her that she didn't think that would happen, but couldn't tell her 100% that her job was secure either.

She is extremely upset over this whole mess. At this point, she would gladly have paid for all the expenses herself rather than go through worker's comp nightmare. She has put her heart and soul into this company for 10 years, and I just find it hard to believe they would fire her over a technicality? I told her if she did get fired then she had plenty of grounds for a lawsuit since she was never informed about the expiration dates.


Has anyone ever heard of company doing something like this in regards to expiration dates? It's so stupid. She's not abusing drugs. This was a legal one time prescription.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:44 AM
 
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To me it looks like a case of the company trying to get rid of her rather than pay workman's comp. It also doesn't make sense because, how can they know the duration for which the doctor prescribed the drug? If it does not specify on the bottle (i.e. in the prescription itself), then one week (versus, say, a year) could not possibly constitute something illegal or unreasonable. What she should have done already is go back to the doctor and verify that the medication was alright to take a week later and try to get that in writing. Also, she might get a lawyer, because it truly sounds like a case of trying to get out of workman's comp with any excuse they can come up with.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:47 AM
 
2,611 posts, read 4,268,146 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWD39 View Post
I told her if she did get fired then she had plenty of grounds for a lawsuit since she was never informed about the expiration dates.

Everyone is so sue happy. What would you put on your complaint?
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:58 AM
 
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A Doctor prescribes a narcotic for a specific pain you have presented to him/her. It is not a prescription for you to use that narcotic whenever you want until you run out. I'm assuming the instructions on the bottle said something like "take one pill every 12 hours for the next 7 days". There would have been 14 pills and you should not be taking any after that week. What I don't understand is why, if her back hurt enough to go to the doctor to get Vicodin, she didn't start taking it immediately.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:02 AM
 
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Yeah, it sounds like the company is trying to find a loophole to avoid paying her worker's comp. But why wouldn't she start taking the back meds right away? I think that's a valid question as well.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:14 AM
 
1,344 posts, read 4,308,972 times
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Originally Posted by Tekkie View Post
But why wouldn't she start taking the back meds right away? I think that's a valid question as well.
Not everyone wants to dive head first into pain killers, even if you have pain. Maybe she saw the doctor because she wanted to make sure nothing was seriously wrong, and came out with a prescription.

Back injuries are tricky too. Pain can come and go, and/or come out of no where.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Colorado
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Vicodin can also mess you up mentally and make it very difficult to focus, pay attention, do daily tasks that require any kind of concentration. Maybe the friend was worried about the side-effects.

If your friend has documentation to prove she had no instructions when to complete the meds by then definitely present that to HR. Can she ask for a meeting where she can explain the situation thoroughly to her boss and HR and make sure everyone understands what happened?
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:46 AM
 
476 posts, read 425,516 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spencgr View Post
A Doctor prescribes a narcotic for a specific pain you have presented to him/her. It is not a prescription for you to use that narcotic whenever you want until you run out. I'm assuming the instructions on the bottle said something like "take one pill every 12 hours for the next 7 days". There would have been 14 pills and you should not be taking any after that week. What I don't understand is why, if her back hurt enough to go to the doctor to get Vicodin, she didn't start taking it immediately.

I'll have to ask her. I think she wanted to stretch out the doses and only take it whenever the pain level got intolerable. That's what I do sometimes when it is a limited supply.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Northern MN
3,869 posts, read 13,952,077 times
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If she wants the job or for if she wants a favorable recommendation on a referral she may need a workmans comp lawyer.

Unless your a union employee they can fire her , is she an at will employee? They can fire you at any time along as it is not because of your race , sex, or religion.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Long Neck,De
4,792 posts, read 7,280,194 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chilaili View Post
Vicodin can also mess you up mentally and make it very difficult to focus, pay attention, do daily tasks that require any kind of concentration. Maybe the friend was worried about the side-effects.

If your friend has documentation to prove she had no instructions when to complete the meds by then definitely present that to HR. Can she ask for a meeting where she can explain the situation thoroughly to her boss and HR and make sure everyone understands what happened?
The prescription might not say it runs out on a certain date. However she got a certain number of pills to take at certain intervals. She did not take them as prescribed. The lab reported the results it was paid to find.IF as been a good employee and HR as some choice she might be ok.
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