What Can I Do if I Lost My Job Because of My Addiction?
Losing a job under any circumstances can leave someone feeling scared, frustrated, or unsure of what to do next. You might be thinking, how am I going to pay bills, or how am I going to support myself/family. Maybe you were fired because of drug or alcohol use, an unfortunate consequence of addiction. If you need inpatient or outpatient treatment to get back on track, get yourself the help you deserve.
The ADA Protects Employees from Being Fired for Addiction
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law in 1990 to prohibit employers from discriminating against persons with disabilities. Addiction is considered a disability and provides some protection from being fired. If your boss can prove that your performance has suffered, they can fire you. Also, if you are currently using illegal drugs, you are not protected. Having a history of illicit drug use or having been to treatment provides you with protection.
Protection Under FMLA
Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you might be eligible for up to 12 workweeks of leave. The condition for eligibility is under the severe health condition that makes an employee unable to perform essential job functions. FMLA is available to eligible employees of covered employers. Covered employers have 50 or more employees in the private sector (any number of employees), public agencies including government, or elementary or secondary schools (any number of employees). Check with your Human Resources Department to see if you are an eligible employee.
If you do not qualify under either the ADA or FMLA, there are still some things you can do.
- Self-care. First and foremost, speak kindly to yourself. Get the help and support you need. Take time to get proper nutrition and rest.
- Don’t let your insurance lapse. Usually, you can purchase your existing healthcare for a time after a job loss. You may want to take advantage of using insurance to pay for treatment.
- Budget review. This is a great time to review your budget to minimize excess spending, at least until you get another similar position.
- Land any job you can. Your next employment might not be your dream job, but it can be a steppingstone.
- Rework your resume. Make sure that your resume is up to date. Perhaps you can do some freelance work from home to fill in any gaps.
- Avoiding badmouthing your former employer or supervisor on social media. When looking for a new position, this might backfire. Some companies vet employees through social media platforms as part of the hiring process. Don’t allow your hurt and anger to prevent you from landing your next dream job.
Contact Centered Recovery Programs to learn more about how to get your life back on track. Call 1-800-556-2966 to speak to Reed today.