How to Take a Leave From Work for Short-Term Rehab

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Addiction is a deadly chronic disease that affects virtually every aspect of a person’s life. We tend to associate addiction with the physical and health effects that result from the disease; having a substance abuse problem is known to result in a dramatically weakened immune system, damage to various bodily systems and organs, and significant losses in overall health and well-being. But arguably the most significant effects of addiction are those that aren’t readily apparent, including the behavioral, psychological, and personality changes resulting from addiction.

Fortunately, there are resources available for individuals who suffer from addiction and substance abuse problems. In fact, the reason there are so many different types of treatment available is because each person has a unique set of needs and preferences, meaning that everyone who suffers from addiction requires a form of treatment that will help him or her achieve lasting sobriety. Although it tends to be the case that longer-term forms of treatment year the most optimal results, short-term rehab in Utah can meet many individuals’ needs; however, what happens when you’re someone who needs treatment and who has a current job or career? Further, how can a person who’s employed receive short-term addiction treatment without risking that employment? The following are a few of the ways for someone to take a leave of absence from work for short-term rehab in Utah.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

First and foremost, anyone who’s concerned that addiction treatment will jeopardize his or her career should know that there are certain laws in place that protect individuals from the loss of their job due to health or medical problems. One of the most well-known of these laws is the Family and Medical Leave Act.

As a labor law in the United States, the Family and Medical Leave Act requires employers to allow their employees a leave of absence from work without jeopardizing their employment, provided that the leave of absence is due to a qualified family or medical problem. The Family and Medical Leave Act — also referred to as FMLA for short — is administered by the United States Department of Labor and covers such incidents as pregnancy, adoption, placement of a child into foster care, family military leave, and personal or family illness.

Since a substance abuse problem is considered a treatable mental health problem, individuals who qualify for the Family and Medical Leave Act are eligible for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, which provides ample time to seek treatment for addiction. Many individuals are eligible for a leave of absence under the FMLA without knowing, so it’s important to be aware of the criteria for eligibility, which include: employment for 12 months, at least 1,250 hours of work over the past 12 months, and the business must either employ at least 50 individuals or have 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans With Disabilities Act is a civil rights law that was passed in 1990. Much like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protected individuals from discrimination based on things like gender, ethnicity, and religion, the Americans With Disabilities Act was designed to offer similar protection from discrimination for individuals who suffered from certain disabling health or medical issues. Notably, the Americans With Disabilities Act protects individuals from discrimination for both physical and mental health disabilities, which is an important distinction as this is how individuals who suffer from substance abuse problems are likewise protected by this law.

Of course, there are limitations and certain stipulations when it comes to the ADA and addiction. While employers are prohibited from discriminating against individuals who have a history of addiction as long as they are not currently using alcohol or drugs, employers can institute drug testing; if an employee tested positive for drugs, this could give the employer grounds for termination, especially if being alcohol- and drug-free was a condition for employment. After all, employers have the legal right to ensure that the workplace is alcohol- and drug-free. However, once you are receiving treatment and are effectively sober, you are under the protection of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

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Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)

With rates of addiction having reached epidemic-level proportions in recent years, a growing number of employers are finding themselves with employees who suffer from substance abuse problems. When an employee has a problem with alcohol or drugs, there’s inevitably a decrease in productivity and oftentimes increased absenteeism. Additionally, employees with substance abuse problems might be under the influence while at work, putting themselves and their co-workers at risk of injury. As such, Employee Assistance Programs are an increasingly common service offered by employers to give employees suffering from addiction the support and aid needed to get help.

When an Employee Assistance Program is available, either the employee or his or her manager can initiate the service. If the employee has been exhibiting signs of a possible substance abuse problem, his or her manager may choose to confront him or her about these concerns and make a recommendation to a substance abuse treatment program. Alternately, an employee who is suffering from addiction may choose to contact the Employee Assistance Program, which will offer services pertaining to treatment referrals as well as arranging the employee’s leave of absence while in treatment. Typically, individuals in need can contact the Employee Assistance Program offered by their employer either by phone, email or on the web.

Unpaid Leave of Absence

If an employee isn’t eligible according to the Family and Medical Leave Act and his or her employer doesn’t offer an Employee Assistance Program, another option would be to simply request an unpaid leave of absence, citing personal or medical reasons as the catalyst for this time off work. While there’s no guarantee that one’s employer would be willing to accommodate the request and secure the individual’s job for his or her return, it’s still a possibility. Of course, the likelihood that simply taking an extended and unpaid leave of absence without the support of an Employee Assistance Program or the eligibility of the Family and Medical Leave Act will partly depend on the type of job or career an individual has; some industries and career levels are more flexible while others are less so.

How Pinnacle Can Help

One of the most effective ways to beat addiction is to start recovery at an addiction treatment center. Pinnacle Treatment Center is a comprehensive program that addresses the root causes of addiction and how to overcome it. Pinnacle provides intensive therapy along with lectures and exercises for life skills and relapse prevention. Patients will be involved in group therapy sessions as well as 12-step groups like NA and AA. Pinnacle will even help manage aftercare planning to ensure their patients remain on the right path after treatment. A well-rounded program like this is the best way to start recovery today and take control of your life. Call us today at 1-866-301-0573.

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