What Benefits is an Employee in Addiction Recovery Entitled To?
Employees who ask for time off for substance abuse recovery may be eligible for protected leave under a number of state and federal laws.
An employer with 25 or more employees is required to offer time off as a reasonable accommodation to any employee who wishes to enter an alcohol or drug rehabilitation program, as long as it does create an undue hardship for the employer. This is required by the California Labor Code.
Employers with less than 25 employees may need to consider offering time off for substance abuse treatment as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.
Employers of 50 or more employees may be required to provide a leave of absence of up to 12 weeks for such inpatient rehabilitation under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and/or the California Family Rights Act.
Depending on the type of treatment facility, State Disability Insurance (SDI) benefits may be available to an employee. Other factors include the length of treatment time certified by the and whether the treatment has been offered by a court as an alternative to criminal confinement. SDI benefits are usually available for up to 52 weeks, but benefits are limited to shorter periods of time for residential substance abuse treatment.
30 days of SDI may be given to an employee who is a resident of an approved alcoholic residential rehabilitation facility. If the employee remains a resident of the facility and the physician/practitioner continues to certify a need for continuing resident services, an additional 60 days may be paid.
A resident of an approved drug-free residential rehabilitation facility may be able to claim up to 45 days of SDI benefits. If the indivdiudal remains a resident of the facility and the physician/practitioner continues to certify a need for continuing resident services, an additional 45 days may be paid.
If a court has given an employee the option to enter a residential drug or alcohol treatment facility as an alternative to serving time in jail as a result of committing a crime, then no SDI benefits are available.