Residential drug and alcohol treatment facility, Serenity at Summit, provides Massachusetts and Pennsylvania residents with advice about how to handle talking with your employer when you decide to go to residential addiction treatment. This is often a huge concern for people who are struggling with addiction because they are afraid of the impact it will have on their jobs. However, when you take the following steps, the whole process is likely to go smoothly.
Steps to Take Before Talking to Your Boss
There are a couple of things you should do in preparation for the conversation:
Check to see if your employer has an EAP program. Most companies offer an employee assistance program (EAP) as one of their benefits. The program is designed to help employees with personal or work-related problems that might impact their job performance, physical or mental health, and emotional well-being. Most EAP inquiries can be kept confidential and they may be able to help you with resources and support to begin your recovery.
Examine your company’s alcohol and drug policy. Check your employee handbook or meet with your Human Resources department to see if there is a policy specific to alcohol or drug addiction treatment. If there isn’t one, look at policies that are in place for sick employees – specifically, the process for taking a leave of absence due to illness.
Know what your rights are. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employees from discrimination and protects the rights of employees with disabilities. Chemical dependency is considered a disability, so employees with addiction issues cannot be discriminated against if they are performing their work duties satisfactorily.
Research treatment options and facilities. Before you speak to your employer have a plan in place for your treatment so that you can communicate exactly what your employer’s expectation should be regarding your leave of absence and return to work.
Understand the financial aspects of treatment. Missing work can cause a financial burden, but you do have some options. It’s important to become familiar with your company’s short-term disability benefits as well as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Some employers will allow employees to exhaust their paid-time-off (or vacation and sick time) hours before having to use short-term disability.
Having a Professional Conversation with Your Employer
Now you will have to have a conversation with your boss about your trip to rehab. You can use the following tips to keep it professional:
Keep it simple. You don’t have to give details about what you are going through, and your boss doesn’t have the right to ask. Just state simply that you currently have a substance abuse issue that requires treatment and that your treatment facility will be able to provide the necessary documentation to HR.
Request confidentiality. Clearly, your boss shouldn’t discuss your situation with other employees, but it is still a good time to request that your privacy be guarded.
Express your desire to return to work. At the end of the conversation, be sure to let your boss know that your desire is to return to work, ready to do the best job you can, as soon as your treatment is completed.
Keep records. Document any conversations that you have with your supervisor and HR regarding your treatment plans and your temporary absence from work. You may never need the documentation, but it’s better to err on the side of caution in case you do.
About Serenity at Summit
Serenity at Summit offers drug and alcohol residential addiction treatment for patients in Massachusetts and New Jersey.
FOR DRUG & ALCOHOL DETOX & PERSONALIZED 12 STEP PROGRAM ADDICTION TREATMENT
Serenity at Summit - New Jersey Addiction Treatment Centers - 609-422-5788 (Union, NJ)
40 Minutes from New York City
Serenity at Summit - New England, Addiction Treatment Centers
978-574-5999 (Haverhill, MA)
45 Minutes from Boston, Massachusetts
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