There are several reasons why those who need addiction treatment may not seek help. This includes the reluctance to undergo withdrawal and the fear of being stigmatized. If you’re struggling with addiction in the workplace, your biggest fear may be losing your job if you ask for time off to receive treatment.
However, thanks to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you can take leave to go seek addiction treatment without the fear of losing your job.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The FMLA is an act that was signed into law in 1993. It allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave annually within a twelve-month period. During this leave, the employees still have access to the medical and health benefits provided by their employer. This law aimed to balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of family by providing a provision where employees can seek leave to sort out personal or family health issues.
Under the FMLA, you can take leave for these reasons:
- To bond with an adopted or foster child within the first year of placement in your custody.
- To bond with a newborn baby within the first year of birth.
- To care for a critically ill parent, son, daughter, or spouse.
- To recover your health if you have a health condition that affects your ability to carry out your tasks at work.
Since addiction is recognized as an illness, the FMLA protects your right to take leave to seek addiction treatment.
To be eligible for leave under the FMLA, you need to make sure that your employer is covered. According to the US Department of Labor, those covered by the FMLA include:
- State, local, and federal employers.
- Private-sector employers who have 50 or more employees working 20 or more weeks each year.
- Any public or private elementary or high schools i.e. local education agencies.
Additionally, to be qualified for leave, you have to have worked for your employer for 12 or more months and have covered at least 1250 hours of work in the 12 months preceding your medical leave.
So if you’re struggling with addiction but have been reluctant to seek treatment for fear of losing your job, worry not. You can take medical leave as long as you meet the criteria required by the FMLA.
We Can Help
At Findlay Recovery Center in Ohio, we believe that addiction treatment should be accessible to anyone who needs it. That’s why we offer affordable detox as well as drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs to our clients. If you, or your loved one, needs help beating addiction, get in touch with us today and we’ll do our best to help you!