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If You Are Ready to Seek Treatment, You May Wonder, “Can My Employer Fire Me For Going to Rehab?

A common question among those who are employed but deciding whether it is time to seek addiction treatment is, “Can my employer fire me for going to rehab?” If you are wondering how to go to rehab without losing your job, you may be encouraged to learn that there are laws in place that can protect you.

While it is difficult to provide a definitive answer to the question, “Can my employer fire me for going to rehab?” the reality is that there are routes you can take, using legal protections, to allow you to get your job back after rehab.

Why The Answer to, “Can My Employer Fire Me For Going To Rehab?” May Be No, According to FMLA

One way you can go to rehab without losing your job is by using legal protections afforded by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). According to the United States Department of Labor, if you seek rehab using FMLA, your employer cannot take action against you because you are going to rehab. This means that you can receive addiction treatment without losing your job, so long as you comply with FMLA requirements.

That being said, you cannot use FMLA to miss work simply to use drugs. In addition, if your employer has a policy in place that indicates you can be fired for substance abuse, you could still lose your job, even if you are seeking rehab using FMLA protections.

Requirements for Seeking Rehab Using FMLA Protections

If you are worried about the question, “Can you get fired for going to rehab?” you need to ensure that you meet the requirements for using FMLA protections. As the Department of Labor has explained, you must have a serious health condition in order to take a leave of absence from work under FMLA.

A substance use disorder, or addiction, can qualify as a serious health condition, so long as it requires you to receive inpatient treatment or ongoing care. In addition to having a serious health condition, you must be employed by a public agency, an elementary or secondary school, or an organization with at least 50 employees.

Beyond this requirement, you must have worked 1,250 hours for your employer over the last 12 months. If you meet these qualifications, your human resources department can assist you in applying for FMLA.

Can My Employer Fire Me For Going to Rehab Under ADA?

The answer to the question, “Can my employer fire me for going to rehab?” may also be found in the protections of the ADA or the Americans with Disabilities Act. According to this law, addiction is a protected disability if it causes significant difficulty meeting demands in one or more areas of life, such as at work.

Under ADA, you can receive accommodations, such as adjusted work schedules or even leave from work, in order to receive addiction treatment.

ADA further states that your employer cannot discriminate against you for having a substance use disorder or addiction. While the ADA does offer these protections, it does not protect you if you are currently using illegal drugs. This means that if your employer finds that you are abusing illegal drugs, you would not necessarily be protected under ADA.

On the other hand, the requirements for alcohol addiction are more lenient under ADA. A person who has an alcohol use disorder, which is the clinical term for alcohol addiction, is protected under ADA, even when they are currently using alcohol, so long as they are still able to perform their primary job duties.

How to Go to Rehab Without Losing Your Job: Talk to Your Employer and Use Legal Protections

You are probably concerned about the question, “Can my employer fire me for going to rehab?” This is certainly understandable, as your job is important to you. While you may be worried about losing your job if you go to rehab, chances are that getting addiction treatment will improve your job performance and benefit your employer. And you should be able to get your job back after rehab.

If you are living with an addiction and it rises to the level of being a serious health problem or a disability, your employer probably wants you to get better. You should have a conversation with your employer and be prepared to bring your FMLA and/or ADA rights into the conversation. Explain that you are living with a substance use disorder and would like to take leave under FMLA to get treatment.

Remember, if you have not violated any employer policies regarding drug use, your employer cannot fire you simply because you are requesting time off from work for rehab.

Will Rehab Be On My Record?

Another concern among people who wonder, “Can my employer fire me for going to rehab?” is whether rehab will somehow appear on their records. Fortunately, Federal law protects the privacy of people who receive treatment for addiction. This means that if you attend addiction treatment, this fact remains private.

Going to rehab would not appear on a criminal record or background check, and in general, your employer would not be able to receive information about your addiction treatment history without your consent. While your rehab information is generally private, your employer may ask for some sort of certification from your doctor or another qualified medical professional, showing that your substance use disorder is a serious condition that requires treatment, if you use FMLA protections to go to rehab.

Remember, even if you have to provide your employer with this information for the purpose of seeking leave for treatment under FMLA, they cannot fire you simply because you are requesting leave for rehab.

Working with Resurgence California to Answer the Question, “Can My Employer Fire me For Going to Rehab?”

Given the legal protections that are in place, there are methods for how to go to rehab without losing your job. If you are looking for treatment in California, Resurgence is based in Orange County and offers a variety of treatment options, including detox, outpatient services, and inpatient care.

We offer our inpatient services in a homelike setting, where you will stay in a bedroom and have access to amenities like waterfalls and nature trails. We believe in providing a personalized treatment plan that meets your unique needs, including those that relate to employment.

You may be worried about losing your job if you seek rehab at Resurgence, but the reality is that if you continue to work without going to treatment, your drug use may place you at risk of being fired.

By coming to Resurgence, you can develop the skills you need to stay sober and remain productive at work.

Contact us today to fill out a free insurance verification form to determine how much you can expect to pay for treatment. We accept most PPO insurance plans and aim to provide you with access to affordable rehab services.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

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At Resurgence, we accept most PPO insurance. Verify your insurance now.