Have you ever asked yourself “will I lose my job if I go to rehab?” If the answer is yes, then you are not alone.
Not many are able to maintain a career and a job in parallel with their addiction. But for those who have, the idea of going to rehab and sharing that with an employer could be both scary and daunting.
Lies could unfold and the risk of judgment can be very real. But can you lose your job if you go to rehab? Let’s have a look.
The Law on Your Side
In the United States, employees have legal protections that could help them keep their jobs while attending rehab or seeking recovery. There are numerous federal acts that could be in your favor.
Being said that, every employment relationship is governed by a different contract.
The size of the company you work for as well as local laws could also influence your position. Therefore, it’s always best to check your employment contract and speak to legal counsel prior to taking action. The U.S. Department of Labor could also help you in this process.
Federal Acts That Could Protect You
The Family and Medical Leave Act
In accordance with The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a person receiving substance abuse treatment from a healthcare provider can take a leave of absence from work.
The act entitles qualifying employees to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year. However, not all employers are covered. One of the criteria requires that companies have more than 50 employees to qualify. You must also have been with the company for over a year and worked at least 1,250 hours during that period.
One thing FMLA does not cover is missing out on work due to substance abuse. For example, if the patient missed out on work due to their active use.
The Americans With Disabilities Act
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) is second on our list and protects employees in a similar way.
ADA is primarily centered against discrimination in the workplace against Americans with disabilities. This includes those suffering from a substance abuse disorder (SUD). The act applies to all companies with 15 or more employees and any and all government entities.
However, the act does not fully protect you from being terminated if you are still using and not seeking recovery.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
You’ve probably heard the term HIPAA and/or HIPAA protections before, which refers to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Like ADA, HIPAA’s legislation is geared toward discrimination in the workplace due to medical conditions. In this case, the act indicates that employers can’t use medical information to discriminate against you.
The caveat with HIPAA is that employees need to be qualified to do their job and not be in breach of contract. Some employers might have specifics discussing the use of illegal drugs in their contracts which could then place the addict at risk of termination.
The act also protects you from having your employer share your medical information with others. Therefore, you need not fear office gossip or employers sharing your condition with others.
The Rehabilitation Act
The rehabilitation act protects employees seeking treatment as long as their employer receives federal grants, aid, or contracts. The only exception to this is if the employee’s conditions prevent them from safely carrying out their job duties.
How to Go to Rehab Without Losing your Job
Can you lose your job if you go to rehab? The answer might be more complex than just a simple yes or no. But with so many protections against you, the odds are certainly in your favor.
Fears of risking your job and career shouldn’t keep you from seeking recovery.
Now that you know the answer to the question “will I lose my job if I go to rehab?” you might want to find a rehab that can support you and guide you when it comes to employment.
Veritas Detox has a team of experts in-house that can support you and guide you through the recovery process.
Contact us today and ask one of our admission counselors how you can go to rehab without losing your job.