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Will I Lose My Job If I Go to Rehab?

Choosing to go to rehab is brave, but it can be stressful—especially if you worry that getting treatment for addiction might affect your personal life. We’re here to help you understand how going to rehab might impact your career and set you up for a smooth transition into and out of treatment. 

Will I Lose My Job If I Go to Rehab

Will I Lose My Job If I Go to Rehab? Legal Protections

Did you know that you have legal protections against losing your job for rehab-related reasons? Below are some of the most important legal protections to know about when considering addiction treatment.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects employees who seek treatment for drug or alcohol addiction. Under the ADA, substance abuse disorders are recognized as disabilities. This means that your employer can’t discriminate against you for seeking treatment. However, bear in mind that ADA protections apply to employees who are not currently using illegal drugs and are actively seeking treatment for their addiction.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is another form of protection for employees seeking addiction treatment. This act provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for specified family and medical reasons, which can include seeking treatment for substance abuse. 

FMLA helps you take the necessary time off to get help without fear of losing your job. Keep in mind that, to be eligible for FMLA leave, you need to work for a covered employer, hold your job for at least a year, and have clocked at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months.

How To Ask Your Boss About Going to Rehab

Telling your boss about your struggles with addiction can be tough. While it can be stressful to initiate the conversation, it’s best to be completely honest about the nature of the situation rather than trying to come up with an alibi. Because of legal protections like the ADA, your boss is obligated to not terminate you on the basis of your decision to go to rehab.

Balancing Work and Rehab

Balancing work and rehab takes thoughtful planning and open communication with your boss. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

Early Communication: Tell your boss about your need for treatment as early as possible.

Understand Your Rights: Get familiar with your legal rights under the ADA and FMLA and stick to your employer’s policies on leave and health issues.

Choose the Right Program: Choose a rehab program that accommodates your work schedule, whether it’s through flexible hours, outpatient services, or remote support options.

Plan Your Workload: Work with your boss to manage your workload while you’re away. Consider delegating tasks to teammates or setting up a temporary coverage plan.

Seek Support: Utilize resources such as Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) for additional support during and after your treatment.

Drug Rehab

Can I Work While in Rehab?

“Can I lose my job for going to rehab?” might not be the only career-related question on your mind as you pursue treatment for addiction. You might also be wondering whether you can balance your current work schedule with treatment.

Your ability to work while you get addiction treatment depends on the type of program you choose and your personal situation. Some programs for drug rehab in Orange County offer flexible schedules or outpatient services that can help you continue working while you recover.

Make sure you discuss your work needs with the care team at your rehab facility to find a program that best supports your goals of recovery and work. At Ocean Ridge, our team can help you find the ideal balance between your career and your journey into long-term sobriety. 

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Employee Assistance Programs for Rehab

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are provided by employers to support employees facing personal challenges, including struggles with addiction. These programs offer confidential assessments, short-term counseling, and referrals to treatment facilities at no cost to you. By taking advantage of EAP services, you can navigate your recovery journey with added support and resources and chart out a smoother path toward a healthier life.

Going Back to Work After Rehab

Now that you know the answer to the question, “If I go to rehab, will I lose my job?” let’s talk about going back to work after you finish treatment. 

The transition back to work after rehab can be a challenge. Make sure you talk about any needed accommodations with your employer. A modified work schedule or ongoing therapy sessions could help you sustain your sobriety while you ease back into your career. 

Will I Lose My Job If I Go to Rehab? The Bottom Line

Thankfully, you’re protected from job loss due to rehab in most cases. That means you shouldn’t make fear of job loss a reason to avoid getting the care you need. 

Balancing work with your recovery isn’t always easy, but it’s absolutely possible. We’re here to help you find the ideal treatment program for your unique situation. With both inpatient and outpatient treatment options, we can equip you for long-term sobriety without compromising your career. Contact us today to learn more about addiction recovery and how we can help you transform your life for good.

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