Can Teachers Go to Drug Rehab Without Getting Fired?

Substance abuse doesn’t discriminate. Everyone, from homeless people to billionaires, can have a problem with drugs. Nobody is immune to mental, emotional, or physical issues that may lead them to use drugs and alcohol as a coping skill. Some may have critical jobs that require huge responsibilities and can’t afford to lose.

Having to enter into a drug detox and/or drug rehabilitation center can be embarrassing. You may feel ashamed and weak and not want anyone to know that you don’t have control of your life. You may be afraid that your friends, coworkers, and family will look at you differently, judge you. It’s hard to ask for help, which is one reason people stay in the cycle of addiction. If it is hard for an everyday Joe, what about the community heroes that serve us every day? The first responders, firefighters, police officers, nurses, doctors, our military, and especially our teachers; help us when we are in need, but who do they turn to when they need help?

Can Teachers Go to Drug Rehab Without Getting Fired?

Why is There Addiction Amongst School Teachers?

Teachers can be overlooked and underappreciated as well as underpaid regardless of their hard work. The many stressors of being a teacher can lead them to look for a way to escape reality, which usually leads to substance abuse. It may start as an after-work thing, and as work gets more stressful or monotonous, it can lead to an everyday addiction to the point where it gets impossible to work. So, where do they turn? Will they be fired if they try to get help? These questions can lead to more stress, and you could get fired sooner or later if you don’t get help, but there are a couple of ways the law can protect you from getting fired.

  • Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act is a labor law approved in 1993. It protects if you take a leave for medical reasons and can provide you with up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off from work annually without the risk of losing your job. There is another worry, though; what about health insurance that you have through your career? This is where the FMLA comes to the rescue. The Family and Medical Leave Act also calls for existing group health benefits through your employer to be maintained during your leave.

Some factors are required to be eligible, though. The FMLA applies to public and private school employees and businesses with 50 or more workers. When employers are considered FMLA eligible under these guidelines, they must provide employees eligible with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave yearly when the employee cannot work due to a severe health condition. A substance use disorder is considered a medical condition.

FMLA Eligibility Requirements:

  • You’ve worked for your employer for at least 12 months.
  • If you have worked for a minimum of 1,250 hours over the past 12 months.
  • You’re employed at a site where the company employs 50 or more workers within 75 miles.

If you meet these criteria, you can’t be fired for going to rehab by simply taking an FMLA leave of absence.

To be sure you are protected under this law, you must request an FMLA leave before entering treatment. If you go to rehab, then ask for leave; FMLA will not apply to you. You must follow the formal FMLA process for requesting a leave of absence; otherwise, you can be fired.

  • Americans with Disabilities Act

Another federal law that prohibits discrimination against employees who have disabilities is The Americans with Disabilities Act. This does not apply if a teacher is currently using drugs while on the job. Your employer can fire you if you are using it on the job and it’s impacting your performance, productivity, or creating unsafe conditions.

This act usually works if you voluntarily enter treatment, maybe using your vacation time, and an employer finds out you are protected under the ADA and cannot be terminated. If using vacation time does not apply, you can speak to our admissions specialists here at Allure Detox, and we can find a solution.

Allure Detox Can Help Find You A Solution

Allure embodies a new way of thinking about substance abuse. Addiction is a perplexing disease. From the outside looking in, it can seem like a terrible form of insanity. Addiction breeds confusion in both the user and their loved ones alike, as the entire family begins to collapse under the weight of its suffering. It’s this confusion that must be eradicated first before the addict can begin to recover. We understand the true nature of addiction, and our detox center can provide the clarity you need.

Published on: 2020-03-29
Updated on: 2024-06-05