7 Common Questions: Alcohol Addiction And FMLA Coverage

When it comes to getting rid of an addiction, there is plenty of help out there. But, one of the biggest stumbling blocks on the path of sobriety can be financial. Many people are afraid to take time away from their jobs in order to put themselves through a detox program. Thankfully, there is help that is available in the form of FMLA.

What is FMLA coverage?

Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) is a law that provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. FMLA has been designed to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons

When can I take leave under the FMLA?

You are allowed to take unpaid leave under the FMLA for the following reasons:

  • If you have had a baby
  • If you have had an adopted or foster child placed into your care
  • If you suffer from a serious health condition that hinders you from carrying out your job.
  • To care for a family member. 
  • The military deployment of your spouse, son, daughter or parent who is on covered active duty.

Am I eligible for FMLA benefits?

You are covered by the FMLA if the following applies to you:

  • You work for a covered employer.
  • You have worked for an employer for 12 months or more.
  • You have done at least 1250 hours of work during the 12 months 
  • You work at a location in the United States or in any territory or possession of the U.S where at least 50 employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles.

How do I know if the FMLA applies to my employer?

According to the US Department of Labor, the FMLA applies to all local education agencies, all public agencies including local, state and federal employers and private sector employers who have 50 or more employees working 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year. If your employer falls into these categories, FMLA will apply to them.

Is alcohol addiction considered a serious health condition?

Under the FMLA, alcoholism is considered a serious health condition. This makes you eligible for 12-weeks of unpaid leave. This is because addiction is a disease that affects the structure of your brain as well as your body. This in turn affects your ability to keep performing your duties as a team member.

How do you use the FMLA to seek alcohol addiction treatment?

If you are applying for FMLA leave, it is important to talk with an HR representative at your place of work. Your employer might have a procedure that you have to follow, such as notifying them of your intention to go on leave several weeks beforehand.

What proof does my employer require for my FMLA request?

Your employer can ask you to provide proof to support your leave request. This could be a medical certificate from a health care provider. You will also have to fill out some forms, including a WH 380F and WH 380E. These must be signed by your healthcare provider or treating doctor.

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