Pre-employment screenings and tests can help employers determine which candidates have the knowledge, skills, and physical capabilities that they would need to use to safely perform the duties of the position that they have applied for. Pre-employment testing can also be useful in helping job applicants avoid being hired for and potentially injured while working in positions that they are not physically capable of performing. Of course, that also means that these tests can help employers avoid hiring job applicants who are likely to get hurt trying to do the job and file workers compensation claims.
As with any procedure, pre-employment testing is not foolproof. There is the possibility that a person may perform above their usual capability on the day of the test and then get injured at some point after they are hired due to an inability to sustain safe performance of the job requirements. Also, people who are physically capable of working safely when they are hired may lose strength or mobility as they age or experience years of repetitive motion. There are other things that can happen, too, including the possibility that a person could be injured during the pre-employment test itself.
When a job applicant has been hired and they have started working for the company that hired them, they are due worker’s compensation benefits if they get hurt at work. When a person has not yet started work for a company and they are undergoing pre-employment testing, are they due worker’s compensation benefits if they get hurt during the test? A recent worker’s compensation case in Mississippi addressed this issue, and the answer appears to be yes.
Companies in the trucking industry often use pre-employment testing to screen candidates for driving jobs. When Kevin Collins was offered a position as a driver for Averitt Express contingent upon his passing a road test, he took the test. Mr. Collins did not pass the road test and so the job offer was rescinded. However, Mr. Collins claimed that he had injured his knee as he attempted to enter and exit the trailer of the truck during the road test.
Kevin Collins filed for worker’s compensation based upon his injury, and both an administrative law judge with the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission and the Mississippi Court of Appeals have ruled that he is entitled to worker’s compensation benefits. The reason for their decisions is that Mr. Collins was under an “implied contract of hire” at the time that he took the road test, so he was entitled to benefits as an Averitt employee.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Representing Those Who Have Suffered Workplace Injuries
If you were hurt on the job, or you were injured during pre-employment testing, you may be pursuing a claim for worker’s compensation. Unfortunately, not all injured workers are able to obtain worker’s compensation benefits easily, and medical bills and other expenses can add up quickly. The Mississippi Worker’s Compensation Attorneys of the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. may be able to help you pursue worker’s compensation benefits. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.