The Family Medical Leave Act Covers Time Off for Addiction Treatment

FMLA family and medical leave act and stethoscope.

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) came into being in 1993. Many people mistakenly believe the FMLA only covers well-known situations. These include an employee who is ill, has a new baby, or needs to care for a sick family member. However, the FMLA goes beyond that to assist those in treatment for addiction and those caring for them.

The FMLA provides qualified employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from their job per year. Their job is guaranteed to be held for them upon their return. The FMLA also ensures that the employee’s group health benefits continue while they are on leave.

If an Employee Needs Substance Abuse Treatment

Those struggling with addiction may use FMLA for the treatment of substance abuse. However, the FMLA cannot be used for time off due to misuse of drugs or alcohol. An employee in need of treatment for substance abuse falls under the heading of having a serious health condition. A company must approve of the treatment to be provided, which typically requires an authorized health care provider to be used to treat the employee.

Depending on the company, disclosure of a substance use disorder may violate their employment terms, possibly resulting in the loss of a job. Consulting with a company rules and regulations document can help confirm if this policy is in place. If it’s not, the FMLA ensures that an employer cannot take action against an employee who uses the act to cover their leave for substance abuse treatment.

A Loved One May Be Able to Use the FMLA

Many employees have a family member who is receiving treatment for substance abuse. The FMLA provides an option for them to take advantage of a provision that allows them to receive time off to help care for their loved ones. The family member’s employer may not take action against them for taking this time off.

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) helps employees who need time off keep their jobs and health benefits. The FMLA includes both those in need of treatment for substance abuse and family members who care for them. The Detox Center of Colorado provides a professional detoxification program that helps someone struggling with substance use disorder begin to put their lives back together. Our Denver area setting offers the perfect backdrop to receive medical supervision while detoxifying and to plan for the next steps in recovery. Call us today at (303) 952-5035 to find out how we can help you or someone you love.

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