How to Maintain a Job While in Rehab

How to Maintain a Job While in Rehab

Many people are concerned about how they can work during rehab, how they can continue to provide for their family, or explain to their employer that they need to go to rehab but still want to maintain a job while in rehab. Many people are concerned about reaching out and getting the help they need for substance abuse or mental health conditions, and forgo getting the care they deserve because they are worried about how they will work or maintain their current standard of living while also paying for rehab.


Can You Work During Rehab?

Avoiding getting the help you need just because you don’t want to risk issues with your employer is not the answer. Many people use their work as an excuse for not getting the help they need, but there are legal protections in place that allow you to maintain a job while in rehab, so you don’t need those excuses anymore.


Yes, you can work during rehab. There are two laws that protect you if you want to go to rehab for an alcohol abuse disorder or substance abuse disorder.


Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) 

This law was passed in 1993 and guaranteed people a leave of absence if they have to take care of themselves for a health problem, take care of a spouse, parent, or a child. Undergoing rehab for drug or alcohol addiction is considered a health problem which means as an employee, you can use FMLA leave to get treatment for your addiction or take care of people who are getting treatment for addiction. 


Your qualified* employer cannot fire you, refuse to promote you, demote you, or refuse to give you FMLA leave.


This allows you 12 weeks of unpaid leave and access to any group health care benefits to cover your treatment cost. As such, if you need to undergo inpatient or residential rehab, you can still maintain a job while in rehab at a facility like Laguna View Detox and return to work at the end of your 12 weeks of leave.


* Qualifications include an employer that is a public agency or a private company that has over 50 employees, and in order for you to use this leave you have to have worked with the company for at least one year and at least 1,250 hours.


Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 

This legislation prevents discrimination by employers against people who get help. Your employer cannot fire you for getting addiction treatment or for having gone to rehab in the past. They cannot refuse to hire you or refuse to promote you because of any history of drug or alcohol addiction. 


How to Maintain a Job While in Rehab

If you need to maintain a job while in rehab, there are a few things to consider:


Get the right help. If you need help with substance abuse, make sure you arrange the best type of help with your employer. 


If you need detoxification in Los Angeles, you might be able to take a few days off in addition to the weekend in order to give you enough time for medically supervised detoxification before you transition to an outpatient program that you can work around your employment schedule.


There are many different treatment options that include inpatient and outpatient services. Outpatient treatment lets you get the therapy you need at a rehab facility but sleep at home. This means you have the flexibility to go to work but still undergo counseling and education as needed.


How to Talk to Your Employer Before Entering Treatment

If you already have a job and are wondering whether you can work during rehab, you are not alone. When you are ready to talk to your employer, have the conversation sooner rather than later. Addiction can worsen the longer it goes untreated, so having an upfront conversation as soon as possible is most helpful. 

  • Make sure you read through your hiring paperwork or any information about company policy. You can also check with human resources. 
  • Make sure you know what laws are on your side so that you can facilitate an honest discussion with an employer who might show some reticence. 
  • Don’t tell anyone prior to directly speaking with your boss. You don’t want your boss to hear it third-hand from other coworkers. 
  • Be upfront with your boss about how much time you need to take off, what treatment plan you are going to, and how this treatment will help you to be a better employee. 

It is always recommended that you have a rehab center available, one that you have talked to, like Laguna View Detox, ahead of time. If you have more questions about how to maintain a job while in rehab, Laguna View Detox has answers. Call us today