People struggling with addiction sometimes fear the social stigma associated with returning to work after rehabilitation. «Will my colleagues condemn me when I return or treat me differently?» is a frequent question. While it`s important to prepare for negative reactions if you continue your recovery journey, your relationships in the workplace can also change positively after rehabilitation. The truth is that the search for recovery is a brave and difficult task, and your struggle with substances may have affected your ability to work before your treatment. While discrimination can occur, you may be helped in your decision to improve. A return to work agreement (RWA) is a written agreement that sets out your employer`s expectations of your behavior as well as the consequences of violating these terms. This agreement should be taken very seriously, as it can give your employer reasons to fire you if you don`t. RWA conditions may vary. Most prohibit the use of drugs or alcohol at work. You could even be fired for drug abuse that occurs outside of work if it harms your performance.
Employers are increasingly faced with the difficult question of how to treat employees who have valid government prescriptions for medical marijuana use or who live and/or work in states that have legalized recreational marijuana. If your HR representative is reluctant to have processing professionals collaborate on the agreement, you should defend yourself. Substance use disorder is a complex disease. A trained health professional will understand healing better than an employer who is inexperienced with illness. Once you return to work after the end of hospitalization, you may be protected if you have to take time off work due to ongoing treatment. For example, if you need to attend intensive outpatient appointments as part of your addiction treatment, your workplace is protected if you meet the requirements of the FMLA. In this section, the employer indicates what happens if the worker does not comply with all the conditions of the agreement. As a rule, the consequence is an immediate dismissal, unless the employee has a good reason not to do so. For example, if the employee signs a medical clearance to allow the employer to obtain progress reports, but the facility does not provide them, this could be a good reason for non-compliance.
Supervisors, unless they are well trained, often do not take any action until they are compelled to do so as a result of a failed drug test, accident or embarrassing incident of an employee. Therefore, line managers play an important role in managing staff facing drug abuse problems, including developing internal policies, training managers to detect signs of drug abuse, guiding staff on available resources, and taking action in case of violations of employment guidelines. The article deals with the prevalence and negative effects of drug addiction in the workplace, the signs of drug abuse and the recognition of these signs of workers, the legal obligations of employers towards drug addicts, the implementation of a drug abuse directive and particular concerns regarding the misuse of prescription drugs and legalised marijuana. This article does not discuss drug and alcohol testing in the workplace. An employer cannot take action against a worker who chooses FMLA leave for addiction treatment. There are, however, certain conditions: returning to work at the end of rehabilitation can be scary. After spending considerable time in a leisure program, you now have to deal with the stressors of everyday life and juggle the demands of work and family. According to the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 68.9 percent of the 22.4 million illegal addicts aged 18 or older are full-time or part-time.1 The National Survey of Drugs and Health found that on average, 8.7 percent of full-time workers aged 18 to 64 used a lot of alcohol last month. 8.6% used illicit drugs last month and 9.5% were addicted to or abused alcohol or illicit drugs last year. .