Will I Lose My Job for Entering Rehab?

Addiction can have a detrimental IMPACT on all areas of life, including your work.

Many people lose their jobs since their work performance is negatively impacted by their drug use. Drug addiction can cause you to miss work, arrive late, perform poorly, or cause tension between co-workers.

While keeping your job is a great incentive for overcoming addiction, work can also be a reason that people put off entering rehab and getting the help they need since many people worry that entering treatment will cause them to lose their job.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating against employees because of a disability or illness.

Under the ADA, drug addiction is a qualified disability. ADA protects those who have been successfully rehabilitated and who are no longer engaged in the illegal use of drugs and those who are currently participating in a rehabilitation program and are no longer engaging in the illegal use of drugs.

ADA will protect your employment status while you participate in treatment, as long as you are drug free.

There are some exceptions to the protection provided under ADA.

  • People that are currently using illegal drugs are not protected.
  • Employers can test for drugs; if you are using drugs, you are not protected.
  • Employers with less than 15 employees are not restricted by ADA.

So, if you need to attend rehab for an addiction, don’t let work get in the way.

Your career is important, but your life is more important, and your boss will understand that. Talk to your boss about taking a leave of absence for rehab.

  • Be open and honest about why you need time off, and tell him how it will help you.
  • If you have sick leave or vacation time, you may be able to use this during rehab in order to receive paychecks to support your family.
  • If your boss resists your leave of absence, respectfully inform them that you are entitled to 12 weeks of leave per year to handle a serious health problem that may prevent you from working under the Family Medical Leave Act.

As you can see there are programs in place that support your decision to seek treatment while still maintaining your job. At the end of the day though, the price of not seeking treatment is much higher than the value of any job.

For more information about treatment options please call us at 888.903.9898. Here at La Fuente, our specialty is inpatient treatment for the LGBT community.