Is Alcohol Addiction Covered Under the ADA?

The road to recovery from alcohol is long and tough. If you have alcohol use disorder (AUD), then you might find yourself burdened with job worries. 

You might find yourself putting off treatment. Maybe you’re worried it will affect your job. Or maybe you’re worried that your employer can fire you if they know about your disorder. 

None of those are worries that you should carry. That’s because the Americans with Disabilities Act makes sure that no one can discriminate against you because of a disability. 

That includes work discrimination. As long as you know your rights, you don’t have to worry about losing your job due to AUD. 

What is the Americans with Disabilities Act?

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a law that ensures all people with a disability don’t have to endure discrimination

Before this act was passed down, discrimination of people with disabilities was morally wrong, but not forbidden. Now, such behavior is also punishable by law.

The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA for short, guarantees that individuals with disabilities won’t endure discrimination in the following spheres of public life:

  • Getting a job and performing well at it
  • Attending school without difficulties
  • Using public transportation and traveling
  • Entering public or private areas easily and safely

How Does the ADA Protect People Who Need Alcohol Treatment?

The goal of ADA is to level the field for everyone who has disabilities. 

So is alcohol addiction covered under ADA? Yes. Just not specifically as alcohol addiction.

Since alcohol abuse affects a person’s abilities, it is considered a disability. As far as ADA is concerned, it doesn’t matter if that person is currently abusing alcohol, or if they are undergoing treatment. They have a disability nonetheless.

If you have AUD, then your employer may need to: 

  • Let you leave work early for therapy or appointments
  • Ban alcoholic drinks at work events

The ADA protects persons recovering from alcohol abuse as persons with disabilities. But if they act against their good and the ADA repeatedly, the ADA can’t do much about it.

Who Qualifies for ADA Protection?

Anyone with a disability that affects their life qualifies for ADA protection. A disability is something that considerably limits a person’s ability to perform one or more life activities. It could be a physical or mental impairment of different degrees.

This disability can be something they had from the moment they were born. But it could also be something they have sustained later on in their life. Persons who are recovering from alcohol abuse fit into this second category.

Can You Get Job Protection During Alcohol Treatment?

The ADA guarantees protection during alcohol treatment. Let’s say that someone who abuses alcohol applies for a job. Since a person who is undergoing alcohol treatment is considered a person with a disability, the ADA protects them.

A potential employer must not reject your application just because you are recovering from alcohol abuse. They need to do the exact opposite actually, and they must offer you an equal chance as other candidates for getting the job.

The same rules apply if you already have a job. Your boss can’t fire you just because you’re undergoing treatment. 

The only thing they could do is not let you leave early and go to a rehabilitation event or meeting. They can do this only if your leave would cause them to lose a lot of money, or if it affects the quality of the company’s performance. 

Any action of an employer that harms a person who is going through alcohol treatment is against the ADA.

Get Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) Today

There’s a big difference between a glass of brandy at night now and then, and a double-shot of vodka first thing in the morning. 

If you can’t start your day without alcohol, then you could have a substance use disorder. 

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Cherish your life and the lives of your loved ones. Ask for help today. Go online if it’s hard to talk to someone in person. 

You shouldn’t be ashamed to ask for help. It takes a lot of guts to admit that you have a weakness. But when you do that, you’re halfway healed.

If you notice some of these symptoms, it’s time for you to get treatment for alcohol abuse: 

  • Drinking alcohol a lot and often
  • Denying that you’re drinking too much
  • Losing interest in your hobbies
  • Having sudden mood changes
  • Acting violent and committing acts of crime
  • Affected performance at work or school
  • Finding excuses for avoiding responsibilities

Your local treatment center can help you find the recovery solution that you need. That might include a mix of: 

  • Inpatient and outpatient treatment
  • Medication
  • Counseling and therapy 
  • Group support 

There’s no reason to keep waiting when recovery could begin today! Find a treatment center near you and call today!