Being part of a labor union allows workers to benefit from a range of perks that are not always available in non-unionized workplaces. Each union and each workplace have its own specific perks and permissions, but among the typical benefits that are secured by worker unions, the following are some of the most essential:
- More vacation time
- Better workplace health and safety
- A fairer wage
- More extensive healthcare benefits
- Greater fairness in hiring and firing
- Better retirement options
- Increased perks as you gain seniority
For a worker in need of treatment for addiction, whether to alcohol or narcotics, access to a recovery program is enshrined in the above perks. Whether as a healthcare benefit or as part of a healthier work environment, a union contract is likely to entitle you to have part, most, or all of the cost of a treatment program covered. You may also find that under your health perks, you can access a course that is longer than the 30 days offered by the most basic residential programs.
Unions help in this regard because they can offer you the backing to seek coverage in securing the treatment you need. They can help you make your case from a legal standpoint; after all, employers are required to back their employees when needed. It would not be offering a safer workplace if they were to expect a worker with an untreated addiction to keep clocking in. It would also not represent fair hiring and firing if they were to let an employee go because they were ill. An employee with addiction is ill and entitled to protection.
If you are in need of treatment for addiction and are a union worker, then you will find that your path to treatment is greatly eased. If you’re not in a union, it would be a sound idea to look into your options today.
How (and why) your workplace can help you
Statistics show that by far the majority of addicted individuals in the United States (77%) are currently in a job. Conscientious workplaces recognize that their workers can fall into this problem, and extend Employee Assistance Programs (more commonly, EAPs) which offer assistance such as:
- Time off and income protection, should you need to attend residential treatment
- Facilitated access to outpatient treatments
- Therapeutic working patterns
- Drug testing facilities
- Support groups and therapy services
- Personnel who are authorized and qualified to provide addiction assistance
Additionally, your employer may be mandated by state law to have a position available for you on your return from treatment. This is something that can be clarified with the union. However, it may not be advisable for you to return to the same job in the same location if, for example, you often used or were under the influence while in that role before – or if the job triggered you to use. You may indeed find that, once you have completed treatment, you don’t wish to return to the workplace and feel you would benefit from a change of employment – which a union can also facilitate.
If you have questions from the above information, feel free to discuss them further by calling Evolve Indy.