Does FMLA Cover Rehab?
Addiction is a disease that affects people physically, mentally, and emotionally. Because of this, employees seeking addiction treatment are protected from losing their job under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Individuals suffering from addiction with eligible employers are able to take 12 weeks of leave and begin their road to recovery, which will greatly benefit them personally and professionally.
What Is The Family Medical Leave Act?
The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 is a federal law which states that employers must provide employees with job protection and up to 12 weeks in a 12 month period for qualified medical and family reasons. These medical issues can include childbirth, personal medical emergencies, and serious health problems.
Is Addiction Treatment Protected Under FMLA?
Drug addiction is considered a disease, and a very complex one that changes the way an addict’s brain functions and makes quitting extremely difficult. Substance use disorders occur when a person’s drug addiction leads to negative consequences at home, at school, or in the workplace. Addiction can make an individual do things they normally wouldn’t do, regardless of how good their intentions might be. To summarize, addiction is a disease, and is treated as such, which is why employees are able to be protected under the FMLA.
Who is Eligible For FMLA Leave?
Eligibility is determined by several different factors, and not everyone will be protected. Groups of people like the state, local, federal employers, and schools will be protected no matter what. For the rest of the population, in order to be eligible for the FMLA, an employee must work for a covered employer and also:
- Have worked for the employer for 12 months
- Have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of the FMLA leave
- Have worked at a location where at least 50 employees are employed at the location or within 75 miles of the location
Getting Paid While On FMLA Leave
FMLA leave is usually an unpaid leave, but that is ultimately up to your employer. However, if you have sick time or vacation time from the year that you did not use, you are able to use it during this time. The point of the FMLA is to guarantee your job back when you return from rehab at equal pay to what you were receiving before. Essentially, this act allows you to be protected from losing your job for up to 12 work weeks while attending rehab, but you are not guaranteed to get paid during this time.
Finding The Treatment That Works For You And Your Employer
If you are suffering from addiction and are employed, the laws are on your side and will protect you during your leave of absence for treatment. However, we also offer an intensive outpatient program that will allow you to continue to work and resume your daily activities. In the rare case that you don’t qualify for FMLA, being transparent and honest with your employer about your addiction will give you a better chance of keeping your job while going through treatment. Treating addiction is the most important step, and a good employer will understand and help you seek the treatment that you need.
Our New Jersey Rehab Professionals Can Help You
Many people face problems everyday, but some never expected addiction to be one of them. At Liberty Wellness in Berlin, NJ, we deliver compassionate and effective addiction services. If you have been putting off going to rehab because of your job, you may be eligible for protection. Get in touch with Liberty Wellness to schedule a confidential, personal tour and consultation. We can help you determine your eligibility for FMLA leave and fill out any necessary forms for patients. Take the first important step towards recovery now.