Can You Get Fired From Your Job for Going Into Substance Abuse Rehab?

Question by angelinas2104: Can you get fired from your job for going into substance abuse rehab?
My husband just went into substance abuse rehab. When told his boss he was admitting himself in the next day, they fired him. They have known that he has been fighting this addiction for awhile and thought he had been clean. It is a drug free workplace and I don’t know how but he just recently passed a hair drug test even after he admitted he wouldn’t pass it. What is the law on this? We live in missouri.

Best answer:

Answer by SmartA$ $
using drugs is a valid reason to be fired.

Not being at work because you are busy dealing with personal problems is another valid reason to be fired.

I hope your husband is able to overcome his addiction and get his life together, but the company did not break any laws by firring him.

Add your own answer in the comments!


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4 Responses to Can You Get Fired From Your Job for Going Into Substance Abuse Rehab?

  • NeverOnTime says:

    If he didn’t admit to using drugs at the workplace; they cannot fire him.
    Make sure you read the employee handbook pertaining to drug use.
    Contact your local labor board. 🙂

  • fleepflawp says:

    It depends on the sort of job your husband had. If he had a formal contract then that would state the terms and conditions that allowed the company to fire him. If it was a union job, there is probably a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that governs what are acceptable grounds for termination; contact the union representative for more information. If it was just an at-will job, then, unfortunately, he can be validly fired for any reason, even a stupid reason, so long as it doesn’t discriminate against a protected class (e.g., firing someone because of their race or gender). Disaibility is a protected class, but I’m pretty sure substance abuse is not a “disability” as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act; I recall a Supreme Court case to this effect, but could be wrong. Even if he falls into one of the former two categories, drug use might be valid grounds for dismissal–it would depend on the terms of the contract/agreement. See an attorney if one of these is the case.

    It sucks that the company punished him for trying to sort his problem out, but hopefully he will be able to both overcome his addiction and find another job. Best of luck!

  • doubleg2006 says:

    tell him to get a lawyer and sue for discrimination that’s right substance abuse (and alcohol abuse) is a disease there fore his employer cannot fire him.

    And tell the attorney that your husband did admit himself into a rebhab to help cure him of this disease, and if you have a good case the attorney will go after his former employer and make him pay for his treatment (if not the employer) then the company it’s self.

  • michr says:

    in Missouri absenteeism due to rehab is not protected and absenteeism is not protected under federal law such as ADA. the employer must make a reasonable accommodation for a covered illness under ADA (drug and/or alcohol abuse may not qualify as a disability), an employee gone for weeks is not reasonable.

    in some states such as California rehab is protected but that is a state law and does not apply in your husbands case.

    if your husband has been employed long enough to qualify and the employer is covered then FMLA may be an option.
    for info about FMLA:

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