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Learn About Your Rights to Take Leave from Work for Inpatient Drug or Alcohol Treatment

We know a lot more now than we did in the past about drug and alcohol addiction. We are aware that it is an illness, for instance, and that there are ways to heal. If you decide to get treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction in California, you are legally protected. Read on to learn more and contact PLBH at (800) 435-7542 if you require a legal consultation with an experienced employment law attorney.

Your rights as an employee

Any employee who voluntarily decides to enroll in an alcohol or drug recovery program must get reasonable accommodations from employers with 25 or more workers. While you do not have a legal claim to compensation for any time off work, you may utilize any accumulated sick days in lieu of paid time off. Additionally, you cannot face discrimination from your employment if you seek therapy.

Understanding “reasonable accommodations”

A California employment lawyer asserts that what adjustments are deemed reasonable might vary from one employer to another. Generally speaking, the accommodation you request cannot place an unreasonable burden on your employer. Taking time off work to attend rehab, modifying your work schedule or breaks (maybe to attend a meeting), getting moved to an open job, or utilizing sick days to get treatment are all examples of possible reasonable adjustments.

You have a right to privacy

This California law prohibits your employer from letting others know that you have signed up for a treatment program. Your business must make a reasonable attempt to safeguard your privacy. If your employer doesn’t comply, you can be entitled to financial compensation or the business might face penalties.

You have a right not to be demoted or treated unfairly

An employee who takes time off to receive treatment cannot be demoted, unfairly fired, refused employment again, not promoted, suspended, or subjected to any other kind of discrimination by their employer. However, you can lose your employment or have your responsibilities modified if you are unable to do your tasks or cannot complete them securely.

If you work as a city bus driver and want time off to deal with your alcoholism, for instance, your employer can decide to move you to a non-driving role or even fire you. This kind of action would probably be seen as fair because operating a bus while under the influence of alcohol would be hazardous to both your and your passengers’ health and safety.

Contact us now for help

You may have options if your employer disobeys this law and breaches your rights. With your help, a California employment attorney can decide what to do next. This might entail submitting a claim to the California Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

You may be eligible to compensation if you have experienced discrimination at work on any grounds, including because you willingly took time off to attend treatment, because of your ethnicity or gender, or because you reported criminal behavior.

PLBH can help you in pursuing justice. Our legal team is committed to assisting employees in California who have experienced discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and other wrongdoing. Call (800) 435-7542 or send an email to to set up a meeting with a California employment attorney.