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Can I Keep My Job and Attend Rehab?

Seeking treatment for a substance use disorder and becoming sober is the best choice. But, most importantly, once that decision is made, most people wonder if they can keep a job and attend rehab. However, it is customary to be fearful of the potential conversations of speaking with an employer, family, and friends concerning entering rehab.

On the other hand, most people are unaware that there are laws to protect employees in these situations. Finally, some employers have Employee Assistance Programs to help with crises. 

Talking to Your Employer 

If you are wondering if I can keep my job and attend rehab, feeling anxious about the situation is normal. In addition, expecting to be fired when notifying an employer that you have an addiction and need to attend rehab is common.

However, fear of the unknown begins with the lack of education concerning the truth. As a result, the truth is that “at-will” employment means your employer employs you of their own free will and can fire you if they find excessive absenteeism or negligence. More than likely, if those with a substance use disorder miss work, neglect their duties, and do not seek treatment, there is an established cause for being fired.

In addition, inform the human resources department you need to ask about FMLA eligibility and if one of your benefits is an EAP. As a result, your confidentiality is protected, so no one needs to know about rehab. Finally, the intake or admissions personnel can advise how to investigate insurance, FMLA, and EAPs if applicable. 

Each individual has a relationship with an employer or supervisor. Honesty is a good practice to maintain with your employer, so just explaining your leave is for personal reasons that, in the long run, will improve your productivity and attitude at work as well.

In addition, anxiety and fears about whether you can keep your job and attend rehab should never keep you from receiving help and treatment. Consequently, a substance use disorder and possible co-occurring mental health disorders can drain feelings of self-esteem and confidence; this is a significant treatment benefit.

Preparing for Rehab

Resolving work and family obligations are the most important factors when preparing for rehab. So when you can keep your job and attend rehab, it’s a huge relief. However, the negative stigma surrounding recovery, or addiction treatment, instills fears about telling others. Honesty is the foundation for building new positive and healthy relationships, so as challenging as it may feel, telling your close friends and family what is happening is essential. Consequently, you can use the power of honesty with you in recovery. 

Focus on financial issues or legal loose ends because you’ll be gone for several weeks. In addition, bills will have to be prepaid, or arrangements will need to be made for automatic payments. Moreover, you will have copays, deductibles, and coinsurance due from treatment, so be prepared. Most importantly, Harmony Place offers payment options if your insurance does not cover everything. 

Gathering up your essentials to take with you to rehab takes some planning. First, however, take only what you are allowed and need. Harmony Place provides a packing list of items to help you. Furthermore, less is more because personal things can distract the goals. Lastly, bring a journal and a few good pens for self-reflection and documenting life-changing techniques. 

What Laws Will Help Me Keep My Job and Attend Rehab?

Job security is an overwhelming concern when struggling with a substance use disorder and looking into rehab. Yet, all most people ask themselves is how I keep my job and attend rehab? Coupled with the financial aspect of paying for treatment and finding the opportunities available with work to remain employed, some laws offer protections. Therefore, investigating the existing rules for crises in a family is paramount to maintaining employment. 

Roughly 70% of employed people with a substance use disorder do not seek the care they need, according to SAMHSA 2013 report. Moreover, less than 10% end up in rehab due to intense fears and pressures about notifying employers, family, and friends. Despite the overwhelming hesitancy in pushing through fear, understand that federal laws might protect you from losing your job. Finally, you must investigate your rights and rules within your state. 

Family and Medical Leave Act, 1993

The FMLA entitles employees to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave per calendar year if they meet the eligibility rules. In addition, substance use disorders are diagnosable medical illnesses that protect your job. However, your company must employ over fifty employees to enjoy this benefit. Working to keep your job and attend rehab may be possible if all the criteria are met. 

Eligibility criteria can also include the following:

  • Your company must be covered.
  • You must have worked for your employer continuously for more than 12 months.
  • You must have acquired 1,250 hours of work over the past 12 months.
  • The employer must have fifty employees within seventy miles of one another.
  • You may need a doctor’s note and employer approval for substance use disorder and mental health treatment. 

Americans With Disabilities Act, 1990

Fortunately, substance use disorders are recognized as a disability, and this rule revolves around companies with fifteen or more employees. In addition, local, state, or government entities are considered eligible.

Consequently, there lies in the rub; if the employee is actively using drugs, they can be fired if their employment contract contains such verbiage. Lastly, there is hope as each case is determined individually, with a hope to keep a job and attend rehab. 

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, 1996

HIPAA legislation may prevent your employer from sharing medical information with others, but employers may have the right to test for drugs. Unfortunately, this could mean being terminated in breach of your employment contract. Otherwise, those who have yet to receive a disciplinary warning, and remain qualified to do their job, can not be treated unfavorably because of a health condition. 

The Rehabilitation Act, 1973

The Rehabilitation Act governs any entity that receives federal grants, aid, or contracts. An eligible employer cannot fire an employee with a substance use disorder and seek treatment, so you can keep your job and attend rehab.

Unfortunately, if an employee’s substance use disorder keeps them from carrying out their duties safely and competently, they could be rejected. No matter the situation, recovery is always the best choice. 

Get the Help You Deserve at Harmony Place

Harmony Place in California has many options if you are seeking help to keep your job and attend rehab. Admissions professionals can help put all the pieces of your puzzle together to make it happen. Not every person needs the same treatment plan, so in keeping with your goals to keep your job and attend rehab, it’s possible with us. Explore our website to see the vast range of treatment options.

Then, contact us with your questions today.