October 15, 2018 - Blog
People who are employed and need Inpatient treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD) have an understandable fear of losing their job if they enter treatment. For sure, there are no guarantees an employer won’t support such a decision and would choose to terminate one’s employment.
influencing how an employer will react to an employee seeking help for an alcohol and/or other drug disorder is the employee’s relationship with his or her peers, immediate supervisor, and employer overall. Having an unfavorable, untenable status at work due to an active SUD and its many consequences – multiple unexplained absences, missing more work than is normal, poor working relationships with co-workers, legal problems impacting job performance, causing or being adjunctive to workplace accidents or injuries – will certainly augment an employer’s decision to end one’s employment.
our experience is that employees with SUDs who have initiated treatment for themselves very often obtain their employer’s blessing to enter a treatment program. There’s no question that being honest about an addiction goes a long way with most employers. Emphasizing a desire to get help and adding that doing so includes a desire to improve what one knows is subpar job performance also helps generate a favorable employer response.
that a majority of employers want to see their employees who have an alcohol and/or other drug problem get help and if possible, return to their workplace as sober, productive personnel. Most know that treatment can work and openly endorse a common benefit of treatment at Tully Hill, that of having back an employee whose job performance exceeds what they expected and hoped for.
Strengthening employees’ need for treatment is the fact that nowadays, more often than not, employers are legally required to allow employees to seek and obtain treatment before terminating them. As well for unionized employees, whose union policies, for the most part, provide alike protection.
Much of this employee legal protection revolves around the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the American Disabilities Act (ADA), both of which employees should know about if and when they act to get alcohol and/or other drug problem help:
In addition, NY State effective 1/1/18 has enacted its Paid Family Leave Act that provides paid time off so an employee can care for a family member with a serious health condition, for which treatment for a substance use disorder qualifies. Attending a patient’s family conferences and a facility’s family day program would qualify as activities an employee and SUD patient’s family member would be eligible for coverage for, under this new law.
Employees with a regular work schedule of 20 or more hours a week after having been employed for 26 or more weeks are eligible. As well, employees with a regular work schedule of fewer than 20 hours per week after 175 days have been worked also are eligible.
In 2018, employees are eligible for up to 8 weeks of paid leave at 50% of their average weekly wage.
| Beth Edinger, SHRM-CP, PHR
Human Resources Representative
| Author: Paul Marron, MS
Director of Business Development
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