Going to rehab and the Family Medical Leave Act 1/7

-Mental Health Services

If an attorney develops an addiction to drugs and wants to take time off to enter a rehabilitation facility, does the family medical leave act cover this? Meaning, can that person go to rehab knowing their job is safe when they return?

First, our clinical staff at LCL are mental health professionals and not lawyers, so we cannot answer this question with any certainty.

We have not personally encountered a case where a lawyer was fired for having sought treatment. In many cases, law firm partners, HR professionals, etc. have urged lawyers to get treatment in order to keep them contributing to the firm or company’s mission by regaining their health.

We can offer several web resources that may be helpful to you. An article from the California bar, directed toward employers, addresses aspects of your question and can be found at [EXPIRED ARTICLE, INSTEAD CHECK http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content//PHD1091/PHD1091.pdf.] A employers-viewpoint summary may be found at [THIS WEB PAGE HAS BEEN TAKEN DOWN]. Some more general information about the Family Medical Leave Act may be found at http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/.

Your question implies that the attorney is working for a firm or company. The plight of the solo practitioner who needs rehab is more difficult, since there is no established mechanism to get another lawyer to cover one’s cases during rehab.

Again, we have provided impressions based on clinical practice, and directed you to some articles that may be of assistance, but as clinicians we are in no position to give a legal opinion. We might note that some law firms have written policies about job-related alcohol/drug use and employees who develop alcoholism/addiction; if any partners wish to contact us regarding examples of such policies, please feel free.

preload preload preload