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Alcoholism and my Job ... Can I Be Fired?

As a recovering alcoholic, I was doing well and working as a food server. This past weekend, I began drinking again, and when it came time to go to work, I realized I would not be able to function.

So I called in and said my car would not start. Following that, I later called an ambulance to take me to treatment. The next day my friend called my supervisor and told her I had gone back in to treatment and my supervisor just wants me to call her when I can.

Can I be fired for missing work, as this will be my 4th attempt at getting help? Thank you.


Hi Deb

That's a difficult one to answer and in large depends on the employment contract you have, which varies from company to company. So it's always best to get a proper legal opinion.

Typically a company won't fire you for admitting to an addiction and then going on to receive help for it, and most companies will generally be supportive in ensuring that you do.

Where they can start to take offence however is if continues to be a problem and you start missing work regularly as a result of your addiction, or your your work continues to be negatively affected.

With this being your 4th attempt at receiving help and meaning more time off work for you, they may feel they've been more than supportive of you thus far but that they can't continue giving you time off work and thus may feel entitled to let you go.

But I think it's best you have an open and honest conversation with them about it to see where you stand. I think each company will have their own way of dealing with this. And if you want to know your legal rights, you'd need to get a proper legal opinion.

All the Best

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Good on you for taking action
by: Anonymous

Good on you for taking action and getting help. Whatever your company decides though, just focus on getting yourself sober. There are always other jobs out there if the worst happens. But your sobriety needs to remain your focus because without that you don't really have anything. So congrats on getting help, now simply do everything you can to keep on the path of sobriety. Are you working a program? Because you need to, if you hope to stay sober.
Good Luck

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