09 Jan Working Professionals: How to Tell My Employer I Need Rehab
by Elliott Redwine
and Freedom Treatment Centers of California.
Working Professionals: How to Tell My Employer I Need Rehab
Drug addiction and alcoholism touch on every aspect your life as your substance abuse progresses. After you pass a certain point, the effects of your drinking and using spread out into your home life, social life, and work life. Many addicts and alcoholics find they have trouble making it into work due to being under the influence or coming down.
Once you start missing work due to your substance abuse issues, it might be time to start seeking help. Addiction and alcoholism treatment offers a way out for those who struggle to get clean and sober on their own. If you choose to attend treatment, you might have to take a leave from your job depending on the type of program you select.
The fear of honestly admitting the reality of your situation to your boss may keep you from going for some time. Making the choice to go to rehab, though, will be the best decision you can possibly make. So how do you tell your employer you need to go to rehab? There are a few things to keep in mind when you do.
Know and Understand Your Company’s Policies
Understand the policies regarding taking a leave of absence from your job before telling your employer you need to go to rehab. How much information does your employer require from you before you take a leave? Does your company ensure your position upon your return? What kind of documentation do you need to provide before leaving and after coming back? Read through your employee handbook or talk to your human resources department before talking to your boss.
Find Out What Your Health Insurance Covers
Call your insurance provider to learn more about the coverage provided for addiction treatment. Do they only cover certain lengths of treatment, types of programs, or specific facilities? Is addiction treatment covered entirely or do you need to pay out of pocket for a portion of your treatment? Find out what your insurance company covers before going to your employer.
Build Your Support System
Create a support system around you before you tell your employer you need to go to rehab. This support system can consist of family members, friends, or even coworkers. Have a few people close to you who have your best interests at heart during this difficult time. Your support system helps hold you up no matter how the conversation with your employer goes.
Come Up with a Plan
Go into your employer’s office with a plan intact. Have the specific treatment center lined up, information on the length of your program, and any additional things they may need to know. Your employer is likely to respond better when you go in with a plan of action rather than a vague mention of needing to go to rehab.
Be Honest and Direct
Once you’ve made the decision to tell your employer you need rehab and made sure you’re covered, you need to be forward in your approach. The best way to speak with your boss is with honesty and direct communication. Don’t beat around the bush, don’t allude to what’s going on, and don’t be vague. Own up to what is going on and lay out the plan you created. Cover all of your bases and don’t leave any blanks for your boss to fill in.
Realize that Your Boss May Already Know
Most addicts and alcoholics think they keep their drinking and using a secret. The truth is that many people already know what’s going on and the only person you’re fooling tends to be yourself. If your performance has slipped or your missing more and more work, chances are your boss already knows. When you’re willing to approach your boss with a plan and speak honestly about what’s going on, they are more likely to work with you to get you the help you need.