How to Tell Your Employer You’re Going to Rehab
If you are dealing with a substance use issue and considering rehab, you’re on the right path. Taking the step to seek drug or alcohol addiction treatment will help put your life back in order. However, you may have questions about talking to your boss about rehab. It may feel overwhelming to think about approaching this topic with your employer. However, you can take the first step to recovery with the proper strategy.
What Are Your Rights if You Need to Take Leave for Addiction Treatment?
According to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you may have the right to take a leave of absence due to a substance addiction issue. According to this Act, which was passed in 1993, eligible employees can take up to 12 workweeks off in a 12-month period for certain qualifying conditions.1 Eligibility requirements include:
- You must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months, which doesn’t need to be consecutive.
- You must have worked 1,250 hours during the 12 months before leaving.
- Work at a facility that employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles.
To be considered for a qualifying condition, you must have a chronic serious health condition, which addiction is classified as by many medical providers and employers.
How to Tell Your Boss You’re Going to Rehab
Now that you know your options when it comes to going to rehab, it’s time to talk to your employer. Here are a few tips for talking to your boss about rehab:
- Let your employer know how much your job means to you and that you want to stay in your job and perform well.
- Tell your boss that you have a medical condition for which you need treatment.
- You will probably have to be upfront about your condition. Employers may require a medical health certification to verify your condition.
- Depending on the nature of your relationship with your employer, you could let them know you looked into the FMLA to make sure it was an option before bringing it up. Don’t word it in a pushy way, but let them know that your situation is serious.
- If your work has slipped lately, you could tell them you are looking forward to getting your performance back to where it had been.
- If your employer is hesitant about you being gone 24/7 for the full time, be open to getting help on an intensive outpatient treatment Chances are your employer wants you to succeed and is willing to work with you on a flexible schedule if that is a better solution.
Transitioning Back Into the Workplace
Another provision in the FMLA is the return to your previous job position when you get out of rehab. If not returned to the exact job, it must be one that is closely equivalent. As you transition back into the workplace, it’s critical to continue with aftercare therapy programs to minimize relapsing. Recovery is a lifelong journey, requiring the proper support and treatment.
At American Addiction Centers, we are here to help you take that first step on the journey to recovery. Get in touch with us today.