worker and manager greet each other at steel mill

Can My Job Fire Me for Going to Rehab?

Are you worried that taking time off to go to rehab will put your job in jeopardy? You’re not alone. Many people in addiction recovery have had questions and worries about the possibility of their employer firing them if they seek help.

Legal Acts That Could Protect You

Fortunately, there are laws in place that protect workers who need time off for treatment or rehabilitation services related to substance use disorder. Keep reading to learn more about these legal acts and how they ensure employees seeking addiction recovery won't face such drastic consequences.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Any employer who receives federal aid or grants must follow the Rehabilitation Act. This act prohibits them from firing an employee simply because they seek treatment or addiction recovery. The only time this rule no longer applies is if an employee’s condition poses a risk that prevents them from carrying out the job duties.

Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990

The Americans with Disabilities Act applies to all companies with 15 or more employees and any local or state government entities. The ADA protects people with a disability, such as a substance abuse disorder, that prevents them from doing regular work activities. However, if an employee is still using drugs, this act may not protect them.

Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) can help an employee seek recovery from addiction without worrying too much about job security. This federal law entitles all American employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per calendar year, provided they meet the eligibility criteria.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996

HIPAA legislation ensures that employers don't use medical information to discriminate against employees. That means no matter what health concerns you may have, if you can do your job and fulfill the requirements of your contract, you can't be treated any differently. Although this is true for those with a substance use disorder, employers are still allowed to test for drugs and take action against employees who break the rules.

You should look into these legal acts if you are struggling with an addiction. Depending on your unique situation, they may offer you the protection you need to keep your job while seeking treatment at rehab.

At Carolina Recovery Solutions, we’re committed to helping you through every step of your recovery journey. If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction, call us today at (828) 383-8328 to see if our Intensive Outpatient Rehab program is the right choice.