Can I Be Fired for Drinking? 5 Important Facts About Your Rights as a Worker

You could lose your job because of your drinking

When our drinking gets out of control, it impacts various aspects of our lives. That includes our relationships and responsibilities at home. It also includes what happens at work. Our jobs can be one of the biggest stressors to make us think about drinking. It can also be the area where our alcohol abuse disorder can manifest itself most visibility.

Our drinking can change the way our appearance looks at work. We might spend less time getting ready or come to work looking disheveled instead of professional. Our drinking might make us late for our shift or force us to leave early. It could also cause us to deal with the health issues that come from excessive alcohol consumption.

Our drinking might even force us to turn to alcohol at work to deal with our urges.

At the end of the day, alcohol might cost us our jobs. But if you are worried about whether you can lose your job for drinking here are some facts you need to know.

Can I Be Fired?

The difficult answer on if you can be fired for drinking is a yes/no situation. Employers are often within their legal rights to fire an employee who drinks on the job. If someone drinks off the job, there are different rules. But if off-the-job drinking starts to impact the work, then the worker can be fired. That could be something like coming in late frequently for work.

What If They Say Its For Something Else?

Many states are “at-will” employment. That means that they can fire you for any reason or without any reason. So if your drinking is known, your employer could use that as a reason to terminate you without having to tell you that is the reason why.

What About Getting Help?

The good news is that there are legal protections for people who want to get help for their drinking. This is where workers have rights with their employer when it comes to drinking. Federal law prevents employers from firing someone for attending rehab. Employers are also required to allow a 12-week leave period for mental health treatment, such as alcohol rehab. These rules apply to any workplace that has over 50 employees.

Does My Boss Have To Know?

If you decide to attend rehab, it is likely that your boss will know. You will be missing work and they will wonder why or how they will replace your shifts. But if you use health insurance to help pay for rehab, there are protections. There are programs that let you get help without missing your work. If that is the case, your boss doesn’t have a right to know how you are using your medical insurance without your permission.

Will My Boss Understand?

Many people forget their employers or boss is a person too. Most of them want to see you do well and get the help you need. If you talk to your boss about your drinking, they might be more understanding than you think. It’s also important to remember that for employers it is easier to keep an employee than find and train a new one.

If you are ready to get help for your drinking or if alcohol is impacting your work, reach out to our staff at Country Road recovery today and get started in your new sober life.