How To Tell Your Employer You’re Going to Rehab

Telling your employer that you’re going into rehabilitation for substance abuse treatment can be a challenging and sensitive conversation.

It’s essential to approach the situation with honesty and professionalism to ensure the best possible outcome.

In many cases, employers are understanding and supportive of employees seeking help for substance abuse. They may have policies in place to help employees get the help they need.

However, there are certain steps you can take before approaching your employer to ensure you understand your rights, and to help the conversation go smoothly.

Learn About The ADA And FMLA

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) are two important pieces of legislation in the United States.

They address workplace rights and accommodations for employees, particularly those with disabilities or medical needs, such as substance abuse treatment.

The ADA prohibits discrimination against people in various areas, including employment, public accommodations, and access to government services.

The FMLA gives eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for specified family and medical reasons, which can include substance abuse treatment.

Both the ADA and FMLA aim to protect the rights of employees in the workplace and ensure that they have the support they need for their wellbeing.

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Examine Company Policies

Before telling your employer about your decision to get substance abuse treatment, it’s essential to examine your company policies to ensure that your interests are protected.

Start by reading your company’s policies related to medical leave. Many organizations have specific guidelines regarding the treatment of employees with health issues, including addiction.

You may also consider consulting with your Human Resources (HR) department to review the company’s medical leave policies and any exceptions.

Talk To Specialists At Your Addiction Recovery Program

Talk to the specialists at your addiction recovery program to gather advice and guidance on how to inform your employer about your need for medical leave due to substance abuse treatment.

Your case worker can offer guidance on what to say, how to approach your employer, and how to frame the conversation in a way that maximizes understanding and support.

They can also provide you with information on your specific employment and disability laws so you know your rights beforehand.

Compose A Formal Letter Requesting Medical Leave

A formal letter provides a record of your request for leave. It ensures that both you and your employer understand the reason for your absence and the expected timeframe.

In some cases, your request for medical leave may have legal implications, such as eligibility for protected leave under FMLA or ADA. A formal letter can serve as important legal documentation.

Gather any necessary documentation, such as a letter from your healthcare provider or treatment facility, to support your request for medical leave.

Before turning in your letter, talk to your case worker to ensure you’re avoiding any pitfalls that might cause your employer to let you go.

Do Not Share Additional Information With Your Employer

While discussing your situation with your employer, don’t share more information than they need to know, such as the date and duration of your absence.

Unfortunately, in some situations an employer might use what you tell them against you, so it is often safest to maintain a level of privacy when taking medical leave.

Your medical information is generally protected by privacy laws, and you have the right to keep your diagnosis confidential if you wish.

Learn About Addiction Treatment In Massachusetts

If you or a loved one is experiencing substance abuse in Massachusetts, help is available. Contact our Bedrock Recovery Center specialists today.

  1. The Department Of Labor (DOL)
  2. The Department Of Labor (DOL)
  3. U.S. Commission On Civil Rights

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: October 11, 2023

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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