Futures Recovery

Can I Get Fired for Going to Drug or Alcohol Rehab?

If you are struggling with substance use disorder, getting into an accredited, 30-day residential treatment program is your best option for recovery. You can get your life back, repair your relationships, find sobriety, and lead a healthy, productive life. Stepping away from your life, work, and responsibilities covered under FMLA to ensure that you will not be fired for getting treatment. In fact, many employees may encourage you to get the help you need. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) offers people with serious medical conditions (addiction included) up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave.

Get Support from your Employer

HR is there to help you – work with them to get support and info from the start. Getting treatment for yourself can have boundless benefits including better health, improved relationships, and you can learn the tools necessary to lead a happy, balanced, and fulfilling life. But it’s important to remember your employer has much to benefit from your well-being, as well, including:

  • Increased Productivity: Employees who are healthy and not abusing substances are less likely to be frequently absent, experience improved job performance, and fewer accidents.
  • Cost Savings: Healthier employees also result in lower healthcare costs over time and less corporate liability. Retaining employees is much more cost efficient, as well, since hiring an onboarding replacement talent can cost as much as 20-200% of annual compensation, according to SAMHSA.
  • Better workplace for all: Employees who abuse drugs or alcohol off the job are more likely to come to work high or hungover, often irritable or fatigued, which can lead to poor interpersonal skills or even arguments with coworkers.

Common Concerns when talking to HR about Addiction

You may fear losing your job, losing out on a possible promotion, or dealing with the stigma of addiction mental health issues in your workplace. Remember, your employer and HR department are required to follow some key regulations when it comes to your health and safety, and may offer more help than you the think:

  • Confidentiality: Your employer is required to maintain confidentiality regarding your medical issues, including addiction.
  • Discrimination: For any government employer or private company with 15 or more employers, employees suffering from addiction are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and cannot be fired for seeking or receiving treatment.
  • Poor Performance: If HR comes to you first to address poor performance, you should be as honest as possible about your addiction and need for treatment. This will ensure that you are protected under ADA.
  • Lost Pay: While on leave under FMLA, time off is unpaid, which can quite burdensome. Some employers provide their employees with short-term disability Insurance that provides a percentage of pay to compensate the lost wages during the leave.

Most employees of midsized to large companies are covered under FMLA, however, the best way to determine to if you are offered protection is to contact your HR department directly. If you are ready to take the time you need to get your life back, call Futures Recovery Healthcare today. We can help you understand your options.