Who has time to deal with mental and physical health amidst a global pandemic? Besides that, how can you schedule in time for a rehab stint when you have a full-time job?
Do you find yourself asking questions like these? If so, then you’ll be happy to hear that the law protects your right to attend rehab without losing your job. The truth is that you’ll never have time to focus on rehab unless you make it a priority in your life.
Don’t believe us? Read on to learn what laws protect your right to attend rehab. We’ll also go over how to approach your employer before and after your rehab stay.
The Family and Medical Leave Act
Are you worried about getting fired for going to rehab? If so, then you likely don’t know much about the Family and Medical Leave Act.
This crucial law will protect you for up to 12 weeks if you need to leave work for a medical reason. Substance abuse disorder is considered a medical condition. So, you can use the FMLA protections to cover any type of inpatient rehab stay.
Not sure if you’re covered by the FMLA? This law protects all businesses with more than 50 employees. You’re considered eligible when:
- You’ve worked for your employer for at least one year
- Your employer has more than 50 employees
- You’ve worked at least 1,250 hours in the past year
So, how do you use your FMLA benefits? If you’re eligible, then you’ll need to request FMLA before your rehab stay. If you do, then your employer can’t fire you.
Despite that, the act doesn’t provide any financial help. So, don’t expect to get paid while you’re away.
The Americans With Disabilities Act
Another surprising law that will protect you from getting fired is the ADA. The Americans with Disabilities Act protects you from discrimination based on a disability.
According to the ADA, chemical dependency is a disability. A whopping 47% of Americans share this disability.
So long as you’re voluntarily seeking out rehab, your employer can’t fire you. Otherwise, they could be defying the ADA.
How to Approach Your Employer About Rehab
So, how do you approach your employer about rehab? Now that you know your rights, you should request FMLA leave as soon as possible.
If you can’t afford to miss work, then consider your other options. Intensive outpatient programs allow you to keep working while you attend rehabilitation. Research shows that outpatient rehab has comparable outcomes as inpatient.
Rehab or Bust
Choosing to go through a rehab program is life-changing. While you want to change, you also want some things to stay the same — like your job and family. The good news is that you don’t have to choose between your job and a program.
Push your fears aside. Dive headfirst into this new phase of your life.
Are you interested in learning more about our programs and success stories? We’re here to help. Reach out to one of our experts now to have all your questions answered.