It is a common question. Can you get fired for going to rehab? For a person that is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, rehabilitation is a life-saving step on the road to recovery. The key to remember is that nothing else is more important than your health. Yet, for many people, this is a real concern. They may be worried about many things. “Will I lose my job if I go to rehab?” Here is what you need to know.
So, Can You Get Fired for Going to Rehab?
The process is a bit more complex than a simple answer. The key to remember is that a company may be able to terminate your employment if you are high or drunk on the job. In those situations, they may tell you that you cannot work there any longer because you are putting yourself and others at risk. If you fail to show up for work, they may terminate your employer as well.
But, can you get fired for going to rehab itself?
While many factors depend on what rules your company has, many will allow you to take time off of work to deal with a physical or mental health disorder. In some situations, your employer may have policies about missing work for a period of time and reasons for that.
Does FMLA Cover Rehab?
The Family Medical Leave Act provides a way for individuals to take some time off work without being at risk of losing their job. If your employer qualifies for the FMLA, that means that you can take up to 12 weeks every year to meet your family’s medical needs. That includes time spent in treatment for drug and alcohol addiction for yourself.
During this time, the employer cannot terminate your employment. They cannot replace you from employment either. Your position remains available to you. They also cannot terminate your benefits, including the health insurance benefits you have that are meant to help you to pay for your medical care. Keep in mind that FMLA does not require your employer to continue to pay your salary during this time, though some employers do.
How to Tell Your Employer You Are Going to Rehab
Once you make the decision to enter into treatment, you may need to speak to the human resource department about your need to take FMLA. You will need to fill out the necessary forms before you miss work. You may also have to provide some information about what is going on. However, your employer has the requirement to protect your privacy and cannot share any information with anyone else.
It is up to you to determine if you want to tell your employer. Remember, though, that if you are struggling with severe addiction, your employer may already know something is not right. While they cannot fire you just for going to rehab if you take all of the right steps, they may use other steps to terminate your employment if you are putting others at risk or violating policies.
Getting Help from a Treatment Center
If you are struggling with drugs and alcohol, now realize that your employment is already at risk. Instead of continuing on that path, reach out to our treatment center. Our admissions team can explain the treatment options available to you. Give us a call today at (866) 971-5531.