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Questions about Alcoholism Problems

Alcoholism is an illness that is caused from drinking alcohol. A person who has no control over the compulsive urges to drink alcohol and allows the alcohol to consume their life, career, and health is considered to be affected by alcoholism. In the Medical field, alcoholism is considered an addictive illness and is labeled a disease. To learn more about alcoholism, read the alcoholism questions below that have been answered by Experts.

How would an individual know if they had “early” stage alcoholism if the individual has had no DUI’s and no work difficulties?

Generally, alcohol becomes a problem for a person if it creates emotional or physical issues. The fact that you don't have a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) doesn't necessarily mean that alcohol isn't an issue. When alcohol begins to interfere with daily activities or creates social barriers, it is a problem. While you haven't had any legal repercussions from drinking, you can still be an alcoholic who continues to go to work daily. Many people with alcoholism can maintain their work obligations for years without the alcohol affecting their job. Having a beer after work to relax isn't a sign of alcoholism. However, you need to ask yourself having that daily drink is causing issues in your life. If you drink to cope with life issues, there may be an alcohol issue. Alcohol becomes a problem when you are no longer in control.

Can an employer legally fire an individual because of an illness with alcoholism and DUI?

In many situations the employer cannot legally terminate an individual because the employer finds out that the individual have an illness with alcohol. However, if the alcoholism creates issues at work, such as cussing an employer, endangering others in the workplace, being late for work, or a DUI, these issues can justify the employer to choose termination. The fact that the individual received a DUI alone can give enough cause for termination, regardless of alcoholism.

Is the disease of alcoholism a protected HIPAA law as far as an employer discussing the issue with an employee about another employee?

While it may not be protected under HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) law, it is a form of invasion of privacy. Your employer shouldn't disclose private information about one employee to another. The fact that you have alcoholism shouldn't be discussed at all unless it is affecting your job performance and creating issues within the workplace. Your employer could be held accountable for discussing your alcoholism to other employees.

Can one be fired for alcoholism?

The American Disabilities Act (ADA) offers protection to people who have alcoholism in some situations. If an alcoholic is able to perform the basic duties of a job, they could be protected by the ADA. However, an employer can choose to discipline or terminate an employee if the employee's alcohol consumption affects their job performance or their attitude. An employer can also make the workplace alcohol free and make a requirement that an employee not be under the influence of alcohol during work hours.

Does treatment for alcoholism and anxiety qualify as serious medical condition under the FMLA law in Texas?

FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) allows up to 12 weeks for a person who is seeking rehabilitation for drugs or alcohol. This form of treatment is protected by FMLA and realizes that the rehab for drugs and alcohol are legitimate reasons for a leave. You will have to work with your employer and provide medical information that shows the leave is necessary (if the employer requests the information). If your employer denies your request for leave, you will have to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor or the Texas Workforce Commission. Both of these offices handle FMLA violations and can assist you with your complaint.

Alcoholism can shatter a person's family and career. The affects of alcoholism can harm not only the person with the illness but the lives of those around the alcoholic. If you are dealing with alcoholism or are affected by someone's alcoholism, you should ask an Expert for assistance. An Expert can guide you and give you insight on how to handle the illness and assist you with the resources that are available for alcoholism.
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