Are you struggling with addiction and worried about managing your rehab journey and keeping your job? You’re not alone.
Numerous Americans are in the same situation, searching for ways to maintain employment while fighting their substance abuse disorder. But it doesn’t have to be a stressful tug-of-war between recovery and jobs.
With planning, support from your employer, and the right resources, there are ways to stay in the workforce while undergoing treatment at an outpatient rehab Los Angeles.
In this blog post, we will look into different approaches you can use to ensure that working during rehab is possible — so you don’t have to choose one over the other!
Fear Of Attending Rehab Is Understandable
Many people fear attending rehab due to fear of stigma and the time commitment required. It’s understandable why it can be challenging to share your addiction with friends, family, and employers — especially if you risk losing your work.
But don’t let the fear of facing potential consequences keep you from getting the help you need.
The first step to getting support from your employer is to let them know what’s going on and why you need to seek treatment and attend rehab.
Be honest with them about your addiction, how it has affected your work performance, and what type of treatment plan you are undertaking. This will help your employer to understand the situation and provide you with the support you need.
Can You Get Fired For Attending Rehab?
When considering entering rehab to treat alcohol or drug addiction, many people may have the thought, “Can you get fired for going to substance abuse treatment? ” on their minds.
Unbelievable as it may seem, the beginning of recovering from addiction might genuinely take place at the workplace.
Unfortunately, many employees are unaware of the resources available inside their organizations or the legal safeguards available to them. You might, for instance, have access to an employee assistance program (EAP) at work and be qualified to use the unpaid time off for care under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
It might be beneficial for you to look into your company’s resources if you are dealing with addiction. A fresh and sober life might begin with acknowledging your problem to your employer and getting the support you require.
You might still be wondering if I am fired for going to treatment. There is no definitive response to that query; specific laws will protect you. In some circumstances, the employer may still choose to terminate your job.
It’s crucial to realize, however, that seeking treatment and using your legal rights to attend rehab will significantly reduce your risk of being fired compared to allowing your substance use disorder to negatively impact your performance at work. If drug or alcohol use affects your capacity to perform your job duties and/or endangers yourself or your coworkers, your employer is not required to protect your job.
Using the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) For Drug or Alcohol Rehab Treatment
Employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 for a particular family or medical needs.
If you plan on undergoing treatment at an outpatient rehab in Los Angeles, you may be eligible to use FMLA. However, to qualify for the leave, you must meet specific criteria.
For instance, you might be qualified to use FMLA if you’ve been employed by your employer for at least a year and have put in a minimum of 1,250 hours.
You will also need to provide evidence supporting why you must leave (e.g., a signed doctor’s note or proof of addiction treatment).
If you qualify, the Family and Medical Leave Act can assure you that your job is secure while receiving treatment.
Your employer must provide reinstatement in the same or equivalent position when you return from leave.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Job Protection
A federal law known as the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) aims to protect people from being discriminated against because of a disability.
For recovering addicts, the ADA may provide protection from termination based on a disability.
It’s important to note that for an employee to be protected under the ADA, the addiction must be in remission.
The ADA does not cover current drug abuse or addiction but does protect former addicts who are in recovery from discrimination due to their prior history of addiction.
If you have completed treatment and are no longer using drugs or alcohol, then you may qualify for job protection under the ADA.
How To Speak To Your Employer About Going To Rehab
You might be worried about losing your work, maintaining your confidentiality, or even informing your employer when you’re ready to approach your boss about starting drug or alcohol addiction treatment.
This is a reasonable issue if you want to go to recovery and keep your career. People with substance use disorders typically experience stigma at work. People with a history of drug and alcohol use may be reluctant to work for employers.
Sadly, businesses may mistreat these individuals by contrasting them with other employees who have not been rehabilitated.
According to studies, the stigma associated with substance use problems is on par with that related to mental illnesses, AIDS, and incarceration. When preparing to speak with your manager, you might want to remember this disturbing reality.
But you can find some solace in the knowledge that people’s perceptions of addiction have changed. Many now consider it a persistent, relapsing brain disease rather than a moral failing. This suggests that approaching a potential employer today may be much easier than it was 20 years ago. However, you should approach the subject cautiously and with planning. Here are some tactics that could be useful:
Have The Conversation Sooner Than Later
It’s best to talk to your employer about rehab before you need it. If your job performance is suffering and you’re considering an addiction treatment program, the sooner you tell your boss, the better.
This way, your manager will understand the situation better if and when it arises.
Be Honest About Your Situation
Honesty is vital when it comes to discussing your addiction. Even though you may be worried about the potential consequences of disclosing your addiction, you must be truthful with your employer.
Explain Your Treatment Plan
When speaking with your employer, explain the treatment plan you have chosen and how long it will take. This way, the employer will understand the time commitment that treatment requires and can plan accordingly.
Reassure Your Employer
It’s important to reassure your employer that you are taking steps to address the issue and are committed to improving. Explain how addiction treatment will help you become a better employee in terms of performance and attendance.
Discuss Your Return To Work
Before you enter treatment, discuss your return-to-work plan with your employer. Depending on the type of treatment program you choose and the length of stay, there may be options for you to continue working during treatment.
If not, ask if you can maintain your job while on leave and how to do so.
State Your Expectations
At the end of the conversation, make sure to state your expectations. This includes ensuring that your employer maintains confidentiality and understands your situation.
Remember, you are entitled to job protection under the ADA if you meet their requirements, so do not be afraid to remind your employer of this if needed.
Finding The Right Balance Between Work And Rehab
Seeking an addiction treatment facility is difficult but essential for many people. Finding the right balance between rehab and work responsibilities is vital to continue to be productive and thrive on the job while getting the help you need.
By having an open conversation with your employer, understanding your rights as an employee, providing appropriate documentation if necessary, and taking advantage of disability laws, you can ensure that your job is secure while you focus on getting well.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself and ask for help when needed. Rehabilitation is a long process, and with the proper support, you can get through it one day at a time.
Drug Testing for Pre-Employment or Existing Job
Employers occasionally ask for drug tests as part of the pre-employment process or for existing positions.
If you are worried about how this will affect your situation, it is essential to discuss it with your employer and ensure that any drug testing is done in a way that respects your privacy.
It’s also essential to be honest with your employer if you have tested positive for drugs. Explain that you are now getting help and working towards a clean lifestyle.
By taking the right approach and being transparent about your recovery, employers may be more likely to give you the support you require to succeed on the job.