Drug and alcohol use is a widespread issue and impacts individuals and families across age, gender, culture and income levels. If you or someone you love is struggling with drug or alcohol use, effective treatments are available. Although this use can negatively impact family relationships, housing, and finances, the decision to enroll in a 30-day treatment program for help does not have to negatively impact your employment.
The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) requires certain employers to allow employees up to 12 unpaid weeks off of work to care for significant medical concerns for themselves or their families. Covered instances include childbirth, caring for a sick child or parent, or missed work due to personal medical struggles. This ensures that the jobs are not lost and health insurance is not canceled due to missed work under these conditions. Treatment for alcohol and drug use is significant medical concerns and would be protected under the FMLA. It is important to understand that missing work due to substance use is not covered by FMLA and could result in disciplinary action, however, taking a short term leave from your job to seek treatment in a substance abuse treatment facility would be covered.
To be eligible for FMLA, there are a variety of factors, as follows:
• Employer must have at least 50 employees in a location or within 75 miles of one location
• Employee must have worked with the company for a minimum of 12 months
• Employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months
It is important that as much notice possible is given to the employer prior to going into treatment. The FMLA requires that your employer holds your job or agrees to have another similar position open upon return to work. Your employer, however, is not required to pay you for this time away unless that is outlined in your job agreement.
The misuse of drugs and alcohol severely impacts individuals across the globe. When struggling with substance use, it can be difficult to reach out for help, but you are not alone. Treatment is available, and laws, such as the FMLA, can protect your financial livelihood during this treatment. Please call 833-762-3765 today and make the decision to seek help. You can make a change!