Addiction is never easy, especially when you’re trying to keep your job. Once you have reached the point where you can no longer deal with your addiction, you will want to enter or attend inpatient rehab. However, that is a time where it is extremely difficult to keep your job. Keeping your job while you are in rehab is challenging, but certainly not impossible. You will no doubt have the question of “how do I keep my job in rehab” in your mind during this trying time. Here are the steps you must take to keep your job during rehab.
Family Medical Leave Act
One of the most important tools available to you while in rehab, is the Family Medical Leave Act, or FMLA. This is a federal law that is in place specifically for individuals who take an extended time away from work because of “serious health conditions”. Substance use disorder is included under that category. Under the FMLA, a person is able to take 12 weeks off to attend inpatient rehab. This law also allows them to keep their job during rehab, although they are not paid during that time.
To qualify for leave for rehab under the Family Medical Leave Act and keep job during rehab, you must meet the following requirements:
• Work for an employer who covers the FMLA
• You must have worked for your employer for at least 12 months and 1,250 hours
• Work within the United States and for a public or private employer that has at least 50 employees
• Have a “serious health condition” that requires you to take extended medical leave (of course, if you have a necessity to enter a rehab program, you qualify as having a “serious health condition”)
It is important to know that drug and alcohol addiction does qualify as a “serious health condition” according to the standards set forth by the FMLA. You will want to request a leave of absence with your employer and consult with a treatment provider that can give you a full assessment and provide advice on treatment options that would best suit your needs and circumstances.
Meeting the Criteria
Substance use disorder is considered by the FMLA to be an “illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition”. It means that you require a legal extended leave of absence from your job, provided you meet certain criteria:
• You must receive inpatient rehab in a medical facility
• You require ongoing treatment that includes the inability to work more than three consecutive days; the inability to work at the first seven days and within the last 30 days of your treatment; and the inability to work within the first seven days and you have a requirement of medication or therapy
• You are unable to work and are receiving treatment over an extended amount of time and that requires two healthcare provider visits per year
• Your treatment requires your absence from work so you can receive multiple treatment options that would otherwise leave you incapacitated for more than three days without said treatment
There is another law that helps protect you when you need rehab and allows you to keep your job. This is the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA. Addiction does qualifies as an impairment under this law, and it prevents individuals from being discriminated against. This enables their job to be protected if they have a need for a leave of absence. Both drug addiction and alcoholism are included as “disabilities”, according to the ADA. This allows people to seek treatment and recovery meetings under reasonable accommodations from employers.
Keep Your Job During Rehab
With these things in mind, you don’t have to worry about “how do I keep my job in rehab”. These laws exist to protect you.
Our recovery specialists at Anchor Bay Recovery are available 24/7 to answer any of your questions. Please call us at 800-249-1932 or use the form on this page. We can also verify your insurance coverage online, or over the phone. All calls are free and confidential!
Photo credit to Flickr user Kevin Lamb.