Will Being In an Inpatient Addiction Program Affect Your Employment Status?

It has been reported that 10-25% of the working population is sometimes under the influence of alcohol and drugs on the job. With these statistics, there’s a good possibility you might know someone at your work site that has a drinking problem or a drug problem. Maybe that person is you and you are afraid to deal with it for fear of reprimand for your condition. Knowing your rights as an employee will make your journey to recovery smoother.

The Americans with Disabilities Act has addressed limited protection of those with drug addictions. Title 1 permits employers to ensure a drug-free workplace; however, an employer cannot discriminate against someone who has a history of drug or alcohol addiction that is not currently using drugs or alcohol. The employer is permitted to deny employment to someone who is currently using drugs and testing of employees is allowed. There are many aspects to this Act and employees with drug or alcohol addiction are encouraged to be familiar with the language.

Employers have the ability to discipline those who violate work rules by coming to work under the influence, or because of the altered mental status, violate other work rules. When considering participating in an inpatient rehab program, your employer is required to make “reasonable” accommodations to hold your job. This is not a guarantee. The best way to make sure your work rights are protected is to thoroughly understand your employer’s policies.


N.A. “If I'm in Rehab, Must an Employer Hold My Job?” Findlaw.com (Website). (2015).

N.A. “Substance Abuse under the ADA.” Usccr.gov (Website). (2015).
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