Like any disease or disorder, alcoholism can cause people to have issues with performance and/or attendance at their place of work. Evidence of substance abuse can cause an employee to be terminated. However, if they’re covered by the FMLA, they might be able to keep their careers and get the help they need to overcome addiction.
Those suffering from alcoholism may be eligible to use the FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act). The act can protect certain individuals who want to go to rehab but have to miss work to attend.
What Is FMLA?
If a qualified person is approved to use The Family Medical Leave Act, they may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a loved one or recover from an illness. As long as the addiction is considered a “serious health condition” by medical professionals, alcohol treatment could be covered under the act.
Therefore, nobody can use FMLA to gather themselves at home after a rough night of drinking — they must be actively participating in inpatient care. As long as they show documentation to their employer, a person will likely be able to apply FMLA for treatment at a rehab center.
Rules of The Family Medical Leave Act
Like stated above, someone can only use the act if they attend medically-administered rehab or are referred by their healthcare provider. However, it’s not exactly that simple. Here are a few details and requirements surrounding FMLA for addiction:
- If someone takes leave under FMLA and receives treatment, their employer can’t take action against them for missing work
- Employers can STILL terminate an employee if there is a clause against substance abuse in their contract
- People caring for family members in rehabilitation may be able to use FMLA to help their loved one or be home for their children
As long as someone is considered to be suffering from a severe illness as a result of alcohol abuse, they or their loved one may be qualified to use the FMLA. Once treatment is over, the individual should be able to go back to work seamlessly without consequence or termination.
Checking In Using FMLA
If you or a loved one is experiencing addiction to alcohol or another substance, the FMLA may be able to help you keep your job while starting your journey to recovery. Many people with substance abuse disorders neglect getting treatment because they can’t miss work; but with this act, a solution is out there.
Achieving sobriety doesn’t have to come with the price of risking your career. With the FMLA, there’s hope for people who are in need of treatment to take a break from their job and put their health first.
Silver Pines Treatment Center gladly accepts patients who use FMLA to receive treatment. We hope to provide them with a comfortable environment, tools to overcome addiction, and resources to maintain sobriety after leaving the center and going back to work. If you have any questions about FMLA in regard to rehabilitation, call us at