Should I Tell My Employer About My Addiction
Sometimes people have questions about whether they should tell their employer that they have a substance abuse problem and need to go to treatment. If you are a such a person, this information may help. The decision to seek treatment is often a difficult one to make; however, you have become sick and tired of being sick and tired. The concerns you have about your employer are valid. For those who get treatment, they are more likely to keep their jobs than those who do not.
There is a good chance that your employer may already know about your substance abuse problem. It is difficult to hide the signs of an addiction because there are many changes that have taken place in your behaviors and some were probably seen by others. Over time, your behaviors get more difficult to hide.
Even if you have vacation time or enough paid time off to enter an inpatient program for 28 days, the question remains on whether to tell your employer. You should consider your employer’s substance abuse policies and see if inpatient care is an option. Some companies have Employee Assistance Programs or EAP, which might cover substance abuse treatment. The more information you have, the more prepared you will feel.
If you do decide to tell your employer, do so in a private setting preferably with just yourself and your direct supervisor or manager. Be honest with this person and do communicate a sense of commitment to getting the help needed. Employers do understand that substance abuse is a genuine concern for many people and the employer may even share their own stories of someone they know who has a substance abuse problem. Ask your employer for their support, as support is shown to increase success in recovery.
There are worries about if a job will be available following inpatient treatment. This is a genuine concern. Talk about these worries with your supervisor. You are permitted up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) so talk about this option. FMLA does assure that you will have your job when you return.
If you still have some anxiety about talking to your employer, you are under no obligation to tell them. If you can take the time off, then do so without explanation. You can also just tell your direct supervisor and ask that they not share with anyone but there is no guarantee that they will not share with others.