Will I Be Fired If I Go To Rehab?

HHRC-Man is being fired

Concerns about job stability are widespread among working Americans seeking addiction treatment for drug misuse and other mental health issues. Many people postpone or cancel treatment and rehabilitation because they fear their employers will find out what they are undergoing and will fire them. Perhaps this explains why less than 10% of the 70% of individuals with a drug or alcohol problem who work full-time or part-time wind up in rehab.

Although the fear of losing one’s job if employers find out you are attending rehab is common, it is also misplaced and incorrect. Attending rehab or counseling is not considered valid grounds for dismissal. Indeed, if an employer fires you because you are attending rehab or getting addiction treatment, the employer is breaking the law. The reality of the modern-day workforce is that numerous legal safeguards are in place to preserve your job while you receive any necessary addiction treatment.

Can You Be Fired for Going To Rehab for Addiction?

The simple answer to whether one can be fired for attending rehab is no. Going to rehab is a positive step in fighting addiction and avoiding its detrimental effects on the workplace. Therefore employers should encourage employees to attend rehab rather than penalize them.

The two most common reasons for the termination of employment are poor job performance and continual absenteeism, which according to studies, are common occurrences resulting from alcohol abuse and other forms of addiction. So, by attending rehab and treating addiction, the employee is taking steps to improve their job performance and minimize absenteeism in the long run.

Laws That Protect Your Job While In Rehabilitation

If you’re wondering how to go to rehab and keep your job, here are the applicable laws that define your rights and protect you :

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

A drug use problem and other mental illnesses qualify as a “serious health condition” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The rule of 12’s is used to explain how FMLA works concerning rehab. The act states that an employee is entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave provided:

  • The employer is covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
  • The employee has worked for the said employer for a minimum period of 12 months before the start of the leave.
  • The employee has accumulated a minimum of 1,250 working hours during the 12 months of working.
  • The employee must work at a location where 50 or more employees also work.

If these conditions are met, the employee is entitled to 12 unpaid weeks’ leave over a 12-month period.

Furthermore, the FMLA mandates your employer to continue providing you with the same health insurance coverage while you are on leave. They must also ensure that you have the same salary, benefits, and other terms and conditions of work when you return from treatment, albeit they are not required to provide you with the same position.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

According to the ADA, addiction and mental illness are impairments that need anti-discrimination safeguards in the workplace. These include work safeguards for people in a rehabilitation program and reasonable consideration for those who have successfully recovered from previous drug or alcohol misuse.

Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equity Act (MHPAEA)

If you’re wondering if your employer’s health insurance plan will cover a mental health problem the same way it does other medical illnesses, the answer is, in general, yes, according to the MHPAEA. The Mental Health Parity And Addiction Act is federal legislation that prohibits group health plans and health insurance firms from treating addiction and other mental health issues any differently than other medical disorders.

The Importance of Correct Law Interpretation and Application

The rules and regulations within the FMLA are there to protect employees, and understanding them empowers and protects employees. You must notify your employer and provide a doctor’s letter to take leave and utilize the FMLA benefits as they apply to drug addiction. It also recommended that employees initiate a conversation with their employer rather than wait for their employer to initiate a conversation with them.

The best procedure is to be aware of the laws and how they apply to you, and secondly, to be proactive in seeking treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction, even after rehab.

How To Tell Your Employer About Your Addiction

For many addicts, the most challenging aspect of obtaining treatment while still working is exposing their addiction to their employer. Because of the stigma around addiction and the disagreement over whether addiction is truly an illness, addicts may be hesitant or uncomfortable addressing their addiction with their employers.

However, it is best to be transparent about addiction to your employer if you suffer from it. That way, your employer can make arrangements to accommodate your treatment needs. Rest assured that your employer is legally compelled to keep all your health information secret, including information about your addiction and any treatments you may be undergoing.

Key Takeaway

If you are struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction and are unsure where to get help, check with your human resources department or read your recruiting paperwork to see if your firm has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). If you have a drug abuse issue and are concerned about losing your job if you attend addiction treatment, remember that it is illegal for your employer to fire you for attending rehab. Getting a job after rehab will be easier if you seek professional assistance.

Find the help you need at Haven House Recovery!

Most addicts don’t want to go to rehab because this is a moment of self-realization and the first step in admitting they have an addiction problem. Secondly, some people don’t want to go to rehab because they’re afraid of losing their job and believe getting a job after rehab will be nearly impossible. However, this is a misconception, as employers are not allowed to fire you for going to rehab. Most employers will respect you for being open about your problem and taking positive steps to overcome it.

Remember, if you get therapy from qualified rehab centers in Nashville, TN, like Haven House Recovery, you’re more likely to retain your job or even get a new, better-paid job. To learn more about potential rehabilitation alternatives, contact Haven House Recovery today. Our treatment center for addiction provides a friendly environment and a personalized plan to fulfill your needs throughout the recovery process.