Does an employer have to offer drug rehab before termination?
Some experts estimate that 2/3 of all people suffering from drug addiction are employed. There are federal laws that protect individuals who suffer from addiction, but there are exceptions. Basically, if you are currently using drugs and alcohol, you do not have many protections. However, if you voluntarily seek drug and alcohol treatment, your job will be protected.
Does an employer have to offer drug rehab before termination? Americans with Disabilities Act
In general terms, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects an employee from disability discrimination is the employee has a disability and the employee is qualified for his or her position with or without reasonable accommodation. Note that ADA only applies to an employer that has more than 15 employees.
Chemical dependency is considered a disability. However, there is an exception for employees that are currently abusing drugs and/or alcohol. If the drug and alcohol use affects job performance, that can be grounds for termination. Basically, the law looks to the moment of actual termination to determine whether the employee is a current drug or alcohol abuser. It does not look at past transgressions due to drug and alcohol abuse. So if a person seeks drug and alcohol treatment voluntarily before they are fired, they cannot be fired for past errors or omissions due to drug and alcohol use.
So the short answer is no. Your employer does not have to offer drug rehab before termination. If you voluntarily seek drug rehab before termination, however, your job will be protected. Also, your employer must accommodate you if you are seeking treatment for drug and alcohol dependency.
The ADA also protects new employees. Potential employers are not allowed to ask about past drug or alcohol abuse or treatment for drug and or alcohol dependency.
Does an employer have to offer drug rehab before termination? FMLA
While your employer does not have to offer drug rehab before termination, you cannot be penalized for asking for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act in order to attend substance abuse treatment. If you are granted leave under this act and are receiving treatment, you cannot be fired during this time. Also, when you come back, you are guaranteed a position at the same level of salary and benefits as you had before you took the leave. Absences because of an employee’s use of a substance, rather than for treatment, do not qualify for FMLA leave.
Does an employer have to offer drug rehab before termination? Current drug use vs. Past Drug Use
If you are currently abusing drugs and alcohol, you do not have many protections under the law. That is why it is best to seek treatment voluntarily, especially if your addiction is affecting your job performance. Your employer does not have to offer drug rehab before termination if you are messing up on the job because of alcohol and drug use. Also, they can fire you if you fail a drug test. So, don’t wait! Get help today!