Can I Legally Lose My Job for Undergoing Drug Treatment?

by Mr. Joseph Ashdale of Ambrosia Treatment Center

Posted to Announcement on 6/4/2019 at 3:41 PM

{"ops":[{"insert":"For many addicts and alcoholics, the biggest fear about inpatient treatment losing their job and falling behind on bills. No one wants to tell their boss or their co-workers that they have a problem, not to mention the fact that they will need to take significant time off for rehab. Some addicts hesitate when getting help because they worry about how people in the workplace will react. Fortunately, there are protections in place for people who want to get help. \n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)"},{"insert":"\n\nFMLA is a federal law which entitles eligible employees to take unpaid, protected leave from work for family and medical reasons. Typically, employees are allowed to keep their health insurance during their time off. FMLA applies to serious health conditions that make it difficult or impossible for the employee to perform his or her work. \n\nEmployees are entitled to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period, which could potentially cover up to 90 days of rehabilitation. The employer may not take action against an employee for seeking substance abuse treatment. To be eligible for FMLA, an employee must work for a company for at least 12 months and have worked over 1,250 hours. Absenteeism from work due to drug abuse is not covered under the Family Medical Leave Act. \n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true},"insert":"Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)"},{"insert":"\n\nThe ADA protects employees against discrimination due to an illness or disability. Alcoholism is a qualified illness under the ADA, so businesses cannot discriminate against active or recovering alcoholics. And, companies must make reasonable accommodations for recovering employees, including reasonable time off for therapy or support meetings. There are exceptions, though. If an employee’s performance suffered before treatment, and the employer can prove the issue, then the ADA does not offer protection to this employee.  \n\nIllegal drug use is not covered under the ADA, whether someone is a first-time user or fully addicted. However, if an employee who is sober but has a history of addiction, is covered by the ADA. It is best to check with the current employer’s health insurance to verify coverage.\n"}]}


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