Alcoholism can be a tough issue to confront. Alcoholics may face all kinds of issues as they work to figure out how to move past their addiction back to functioning in society. The kind of professional help necessary may require highly intensive therapies in an inpatient treatment facility. Alcoholism rehab may take the patient weeks and even months to complete. During this time, the patient may not be able to work because he or she has to focus on confronting and overcoming his or her addiction. The patient may need to be totally immersed in the alcoholism rehab treatment process in order to fully combat the issues that lead to addiction. As a result, many people who enter rehab worry about their ability to enter the program and still remain employed. It’s understandable that many people have the need to earn and maintain a living even as they have the need to combat issues related to alcoholism. While such fears are quite common, patients should be reassured that many kinds of protection are in place to allow them to keep their jobs and to remain in alcoholism rehab to beat their addictions.
One of the many benefits of the law protects individuals from disclosure of their medical conditions to employers and other strangers. A company may need to know that you need help combating a medical condition; however, they are not necessarily entitled to know that the condition in question is specifically alcoholism or drug addiction.
Another protection that people are warranted when combating alcoholism is a leave of unpaid absence from their job. This unpaid leave may be used for various needs including childbirth, adoption and working for treatment of a medical condition. Before the leave, the employer must ensure that the position is held for the person taking leave. The employer is not allowed to hire someone in their place nor are they allowed to penalize the person once they return to the job.
The leave of absence may also be used to treat medical conditions including alcoholism. An employer will need to honor the employee’s right to treatment efforts. During this period of time, about twelve weeks, which is often sufficient for completing an alcohol inpatient treatment, the patient is free to work on their treatment without worry of being unemployed.
This period of time also often allows the patient to develop coping methods for combating alcoholism. Additional treatment may be necessary, and the patient can often work on their issues at an outpatient alcoholism rehab center. Here, they may be able to work on treatment during off-work hours. Many meetings will often take place on a weekend or later at night, allowing ease of access to a patient who works in the day.
In all circumstances, it is best if you consult thoroughly with two groups: the human resources department and the alcoholism rehab facility to which the patient intends to go. Human resources often has staffers who can help an employee figure out how to best use their leave of absence for necessary treatment while retaining their right to keep their position. The individual in need should also consult with alcoholism rehab centers that can help provide patients with guided information to make sure that their employers are in full compliance with regulations governing medical treatment for alcoholism.