How to Come Clean With Your Boss

I managed to hide my alcohol abuse from my boss and colleagues for quite some time, but I reached the point that it was getting harder and harder every day. I knew I needed to go into rehab, but that meant taking time off from work. I was petrified that I would lose my job while I was gone.

I had heard that some companies have an alcohol and drug policy that allows their employees to take time off while in rehab and their job would be waiting for them when they got back. So I decided to take the plunge, and these were the steps I took:

  • I scheduled a private meeting with my boss, who was surprisingly encouraging. She knew that something was going on with me and was relieved that I was honest with her about it. Unfortunately, she wasn’t sure if my company has a drug and alcohol policy, so she referred me to HR.
  • I spoke to the HR manager who confirmed that we do not have such a policy, but she said that I could use my sick and vacation time to be paid during at least part of my absence. She also told me about the Employee Protection Law. It treats dependence as a form of illness, which it is, and that it allows me to take the time off I need to participate in a rehab program.
  • I called a friend in recovery, who was able to refer me to the program he went through.
  • I spoke with my boss again and scheduled the time off and within a week I was in rehab. Fortunately, my company hired a temp to take my place until I returned.
  • When I came out of rehab, I started going to 12 Step meetings three times per week.

Many employers will see that there is something wrong, but they choose to ignore the problem as long as you are getting your work done. That’s what my boss did. Since my job performance didn’t change, she figured it was something personal and decided to mind her own business.

This is why it is imperative that you steel your nerves and talk to them first. If they are reluctant to work with you, you may want to remind them that it will probably cost the company more money to hire and train a replacement for you that it would to give you the time off. You can also tell them about the Employee Protection Law.

What if you don’t know anyone in recovery? No worries. A simple Google search will reveal all of the rehabs in your area. I found nine in mine. If you are wondering how you can afford it, most of the rehabs I researched take insurance.

I also learned something very important. As you may know the ADA, The Americans with Disabilities Act, protects employees with disabilities from being discriminated against. What you may not know is that alcoholism and addiction are considered to be disabilities. This can protect you if you come clean to your boss before your boss decides to fire you for poor job performance, which is another reason why it is imperative to confide in your boss as soon as possible. As a result, your employer is normally required to protect your job by making arrangements for you to take the time off you need to go to a rehab.

So talk to your boss today! Doing so can save your life and your career. I know it did for me.

If your loved one is currently experiencing a problem with addiction to drugs or alcohol, don’t wait until it’s too late. Please contact Beginnings Treatment Centers now to speak with one of our experienced intake advisors. There is no obligation or cost for the initial consultation, and quick action might save your marriage or even the life of your loved one.

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