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How FMLA Protects Your Job While You Get the Help You Need

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that permits qualified employees to take up to 12 unpaid weeks off work for specific family and medical reasons with continued insurance coverage. It also protects their job during that time. Fortunately, FMLA does cover rehabilitation, but there are some things you should know about the program before this happens.

Do You Qualify for FMLA?

The Family and Medical Leave Act was designed to help employees balance their personal and work life. While the program has numerous benefits, it has the same amount of qualification criteria. First and foremost are your employment qualifications. You must first work for a covered employer, then:

  • Have worked for your employer for at least 12 months
  • Worked 1,250 hours during the past 12 months before their FMLA leave starts
  • Work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles

The Department of Labor also specifies that FMLA can only be taken for substance abuse treatment provided by a healthcare provider. 

When Can You Take Leave?

Generally, FMLA is used for the birth of a child or to care for a spouse or other immediate family member with a serious health condition. However, you also qualify for this program if you have a serious health condition that makes you unable to perform the duties of your job. 

Addiction can be complicated and affect an individual’s physical and mental health. For this reason, employees looking for treatment for their addiction are protected under the FMLA. According to the U.S. Code, Title 29, the term “serious health condition” is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves:

  • Inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility; or 
  • Continuing treatment by a healthcare provider

Recipients of FMLA may choose to take all 12 weeks of leave at the same time or break them up to reach a total of 12 weeks in a calendar year. This leave renews every 12 months as long the recipient continues to meet the eligibility requirements.

Do I Get Paid During FMLA Leave?

While The Family and Medical Leave Act may protect an employee’s job while they are away receiving treatment, FMLA is unpaid. FMLA ensures that employees will continue to receive their health insurance while out on leave and that when they return, said employee is reinstated to the same or equivalent position when they return to work. 

The cost of rehabilitation can be too much to handle without a consistent source of income. When searching for a treatment center, look for a treatment center that accepts insurance and offers flexible payment options. Even if your insurance does not cover the total cost of treatment, they may still offer partial coverage. You might be able to work with your recovery center to set up a payment plan for the remainder of your costs. 

Types of Addiction Treatment Covered Under FMLA 

For individuals struggling with substance abuse, the type of treatment required may vary based on factors such as the duration of substance abuse and the severity of the addiction. The Family and Medical Leave Act will cover the following treatments:

  • Inpatient Care
  • Outpatient Care
  • Partial Hospitalization Programs 
  • Intensive Outpatient Programs
  • Sober living facilities and halfway homes as a part of continuing care 

How To Apply for FMLA in Atlanta 

When you need to apply for FMLA, you should inform your manager and the company’s HR department. This will verify if your company participates in the program. If you are an eligible candidate for FMLA, your employer’s human resources representative will notify you of your rights and responsibilities under FMLA. 

To apply for FMLA in Georgia, visit your state’s Department of Labor Website to find all the necessary forms. These online forms can be filled out electronically in PDF form and saved electronically. Be aware that your employer may require their own forms. After completing your forms, your employer’s human resource officer can help you turn them in.

Your Treatment Options After Securing Your Leave

Once all the tedious paperwork is out of the way, you can begin looking for the best place to get treatment. At Inner Voyage Recovery Center, we offer multiple levels of personalized care to help find the most suitable care for you and your circumstances. Our treatments options include the following:

  • Alcoholism 
  • Dual Diagnosis
  • Drug rehab for opioids, prescription drugs, cocaine, and many more

We also offer a variety of therapy options, including:

  • Adventure Therapy 
  • Holistic Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Medical Assisted Treatment 
  • Christian Counseling 

Returning to Work After FMLA 

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, you can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for qualifying reasons. After your return to work, you must comply with the process outlined by your employer. This process may include complete abstinence from any and all substances that were not prescribed by a doctor. Your employer is also required to reinstate you to the same position you held before. Any changes to your job assignment must be equivalent to your previous position, meaning it must have similar pay, benefits, and working conditions. 

Your employer does not have the right to terminate your employment because of your need or choice to take FMLA. As you recover, you should be able to return to work without fear of losing your job or other negative consequences. 

Allow Our Team at Inner Voyage Recovery Center to Help

Our experts at Inner Voyage Recovery Center understand what it takes to overcome an addiction. We are fully committed to helping individuals who struggle with alcoholism and drug addiction heal and begin their journey to a sober life. Visit our website to verify your insurance and see how we can help you finance your stay. Contact our team now at (470) 460-8437 to schedule a tour of the facility and let us help you get started on your rehabilitation journey and regain control of your life.

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