Can You Be Fired From Your Job If You Have to Go to Alcohol Rehab?

Your life has become a nightmare. It began with a drink or two after work. That soon turned into five or six drinks. You started drinking to fall asleep and drinking when you woke up. Your schedule revolves around getting your next shot or alcohol. You know that you’re in trouble. Your relationship with your family is falling apart. Your responsibilities have all been pushed aside. Your job performance has suffered. Kicking the habit on your own hasn’t worked. The only solution is to go to alcohol rehab. You want to ask for help, but you’re afraid. You need your livelihood. Your family can’t make it without it. What if you can be fired if you sign up for alcohol rehab?

You’re Protected Under the Law if You Go to Rehab

Alcohol addiction is considered a medical condition. Your employer cannot fire you for seeking treatment for any type of illness. As part of the Family and Medical Leave Act, otherwise referred to as FMLA, you are entitled for up to twelve weeks of leave from work while you are undergoing treatment. Your employer does not have to pay you for your leave time. Any payment you would receive would be laid out in your contract or as a part of your work regulations. You may have sick time or personal time that could give you pay during your treatment or you may not receive any pay at all. However, your employer will need to hold your job. That is one source of relief when you are carrying the weight of worry on your shoulders. The Americans with Disabilities Act provides you with protection as well, stating you cannot be discriminated against in the event that you have any type of disability. Your alcohol addiction is a chemical dependency. This falls under the category of a disability

Timing is Everything

While it is true that you have legal protection for your job, it is important to recognize the importance of timing. If you are planning on entering alcohol rehab, you must go through the proper procedures to file for your Family and Medical Leave. Complete honesty and transparency is a must with your employer. In addition, you cannot be caught using alcohol on the job. If you are using any type of drug during work hours, your employer has grounds to fire you. You must also meet certain requirements to be eligible for the Family and Medical Leave Act. They include:

  • You must be employed for at least one year by your employer
  • You need to work at least 1250 hours in the course of a year on the job
  • There must be at least 50 employees that are on your employer’s staff

If you do not fulfill the requirements for the FMLA or your employer does not have a large enough staff, you may run into difficulties with the length of time that you are in rehab. However, you are still protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Know Your Options for Treatment

If there are any issues with taking up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave, whether it is with your employer or your own financial limitations, you can consider options for treatment that will work best for you. If you receive outpatient care, you can get the counseling you need while you still go to work on a regular basis. You may need to reduce your work schedule, but you can get the care that you need. In most cases, you will find that your employer will appreciate your honesty and your effort to get well again. The best way to find answers about the ideal program for you is to pick up the phone.

Open the Door to a Brighter Future without Alcohol Addiction

It takes courage to recognize you have an addiction to alcohol. It takes even more courage to do something about it. We applaud you for taking this giant step forward in your life. When you are ready to ask for help. We are here. Contact us at 800-411-8019 and we’ll lead the way.