Will I Lose My Job Because Of Rehab?

It's been reported that 10 to 25 percent of the American population is sometimes under the influence of drugs or alcohol while at work. The stresses of your job may have led you to engage in substance abuse. Now, you are concerned about whether your addition will cause you to lose your job. Fortunately, you can save your job and most likely your life thanks to employment laws.

Your Job Will Be Protected

If your job performance has suffered because of your drug addition, your employer has the right to terminate you because of this. You can also be tested for drugs and fired for testing positive. While you may be able to still perform your job while engaged in substance abuse, your health will decline over time, making your job increasingly more difficult to perform.

Your employer will be required to make reasonable accommodations while you are not able to perform your job. For example, he or she may change your work schedule so that you will be allowed to attend Alcoholics Anonymous while still maintaining your position. Since your skills will improve while you are getting better, due to you no longer having the symptoms of your addiction, your employer can expect you to come back as a more effective employee.

Check with Human Resources

Some companies have human resources departments that maintain programs that can get you in touch with a substance abuse treatment program. While enrolled in the program, you will be allowed to remain employed. 

Not Everyone Has to Know

You may be concerned with how your drug rehabilitation will affect your reputation at work. One option is to ask your employer about whether you can take a temporary leave of absence. Also, if you have accrued several vacation days, you should use them as an opportunity to get clean without others knowing that you have enrolled in rehab.

Some drug rehabilitation programs specialize in treating executives and other professionals. These programs are very good at maintaining confidentiality. The best programs to attend are those far away from your workplace so it is less likely that someone will find out.

You Can Return to Work

When you have a history of drug addition, but you have completed a drug rehab program and are now clean, you will be protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. After you have returned to work, you should talk with your boss, especially if he or she already knows you entered rehab because your employer-provided health insurance aid for it. When your boss understands what you are going through, he or she will be more likely to be tolerant of your lower productivity as you adjust to working again.