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Watching loved ones struggle in the grips ofaddiction is a pain no family wants to endure. From the outside, it’s difficultto know where to turn for help when a loved one is living with drug addictionor alcohol abuse disorders. Today, we don’t have to live in fear of impendingtragedy. State and federal laws allow families to act in the best interests ofour loved ones.
For people living with substance abusedisorders, a common hesitance in seeking treatment is fear of loss ofemployment. Fortunately, legal protections exist to help remove barriers topotentially life-saving rehabilitative services.
FamilyMedical Leave Act: What You Need to Know
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is afederal law protecting the employment status and insurance coverage of certainemployees during the course of medical treatment, including treatment forsubstance abuse disorders. Under these protections, employees who qualify areguaranteed up to 12 weeks of medical leave as well as preventing insurancecompanies from dropping coverage.
Who isProtected under the FMLA?
Government employees including those workingin public schools, or in local, state, or federal government offices arecovered by the Family Medical Leave Act. For employees of privately heldcompanies, you must meet the following requirements:
How DoYou Qualify for FMLA Coverage?
You may be protected under the Family MedicalLeave Act if:
How DoI File for FMLA?
Taking time off of work for addiction recoverycan be a challenging choice to make, especially if you are the primary providerfor yourself or your family. While the Family Medical Leave Act only requiresemployers to provide unpaid leave, you may be able to utilize any accrued paidtime off including paid vacation days and sick leave.
To file for FMLA, obtain the proper form fromthe United States Department of Labor website or from your employer. Ensure you are filling out the proper form. If you arefiling in order to seek addiction treatment, you need the WH-380-E form. Your employer willneed to fill out Section 1, you will fill out Section 2, and your healthcareprovider will fill out Section 3. The form should then be filed with youremployer.
If youhave questions regarding FMLA and addiction treatment coverage, contact ustoday.