Can you get fired from your job for going into rehab?

rehab help
by Ninithedreamer

xjewel903x asks: Can you get fired from your job for going into rehab?
My fiancee just admitted that he has a problem with coke and perks and that he needs help. He is affraid that if he goes into rehab that his work will fire him. He loves where is working but is affraid that he won’t have a job if he goes for help. Is there any laws protecting peoples jobs in this type of situation? Or is there something else he can do? We live in Philadelphia, PA.

Best answer:

Answer by the_only_solorose
he doesn’t have to tell anyone he is getting help, and those helping him are prevented by law from divulging his information. As long as he is doing his job well, and they are happy with his performance there should be no issue.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

5 thoughts on “Can you get fired from your job for going into rehab?

  1. riptide_71

    And if he needs to take a leave of absence, he can do so under the Family Medical Leave Act. He won’t get paid, but you are allowed time off without being fired.

  2. Carol G

    Good luck to your fiancee – it is wonderful that he recognizes that he needs help. Ethically most employers should support an employee in their pursuit of sobriety – but here is some PA contact info that may help with the law

    PA Labor Relations Board
    PA Labor Relations Board
    418 Labor & Industry Building
    7th & Forster Streets
    Harrisburg, PA 17121
    Phone – 717-787-1091
    FAX – 717-783-2974
    E-mail –

    They may be able to answer your question as to the specific law in your area.

  3. Lee

    My advice would be for him to go to the Human Resources Dept and have a private talk with them . Usually they will be helpful and will not hold it against him. Most likely they may already know he has a problem. Check into something called the family leave act.(Federal) that must be given to employee with health problems or for someone in the immediate family. Basically it allows two months (unpaid) leave of absence and return to job afterwords. Doctor documentation is required of course.

  4. Lisa A

    This is hard to accept in your position, but you have to weigh one thing against the other. Most jobs would be understanding and if they could cover him while he’s getting help, they will. But if they don’t, it is FAR more important to get your life straight. There are other jobs. There aren’t other fiancees for you. Addicts are really good at thinking of all the excuses they can to keep from taking that really hard step of getting help. The only thing they need to think about is that they need help and that should take precedence over all else.

  5. Altruist

    I’ve battled 14 years of addiction and work in a very high level, high pressure job.

    The first thing I learned is that It is against Federal law to fire someone after they’ve received treatment in a hospital. Theoretically, if your husband asks to take time to get help and gets fired, there is legal recourse that you can take for damages, which are designed to protect people like your husband, which is why responsible companies are equipped to deal with these issues.

    I can understand the complexity of your situation, as I’ve gone through it myself. The good news is, that your husband recognized that he has a problem and is open to getting help. As far as dealing with your employer, that can be very tricky.

    In my experience and from those I’ve heard from others, I think it’s best that your husband is up front with his employer and discusses his situation with his HR department. If the company truly values their employees, they will respect that he’s taking the initiative to address his problem and that he cares about his job. They should allow him to take a leave of absence for 30 – 90 days to get help and then return to work.

    Best case scenario, they agree and he can go and get help without the stress of losing his job and he can focus on getting better. On the other hand, they may not be as understanding and it can paint him with a black eye in the eyes of management which has obvious negative implications. If they are not supportive, then I would question if your husband is working for the right company. Secondly, if your husband doesn’t receive treatment, his addiction could get progressively worse to the point where he won’t be able to do his job and may eventually get fired for it, which is worse than admitting to your employer that you have a problem.

    I was in your husbands shoes, battling some really bad coke addiction. My life almost slipped away from me to the point where I simply gave in. I spoke to my manager about it and he was extremely supportive. I took 4 months off to get my life back together and everything ended up working out great. I was paid disability while receiving treatment. You may also want to look into disability insurance to protect you if your husband stands to lose work because of his addiction.

    I’ve spoke with many business professionals in treatment who have done the same and in some cases their companies encouraged treatment and even paid the bill.

    If your husband works for a big company, they should have a policy that will allow him to get help. Smaller companies can be an issue, but his boss should be sensative to his situation and help him get back on his feet.

    I hope this helps and good luck.


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