Four main anti-discrimination laws protect you while you are in addiction recovery.

Although the outcome for any law is decided on a case-by-case basis, recovering addicts are often considered disabled, so they are protected from employment discrimination.

Here is a brief summary of each the four main laws:

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): This Act prohibits discrimination based on disability. ADA disabilities include both mental and physical medical conditions, and a condition does not need to be severe or permanent to be a disability.
  • The Rehabilitation Act of 1973: This Act prohibits discrimination due to a disability in programs conducted by federal agencies, in programs receiving federal financial assistance, in federal employment and in the employment practices of federal contractor.
  • Both the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act prohibit employers from refusing to hire, terminating or discriminating against qualified job applicants or employees on the basis of a disability.
  • The Fair Housing Act (FHA): This Act criminalizes discrimination in housing and real estate transactions based on disability. The FHA protects individuals with past and current alcohol and drug addiction.
  • The Workforce Investment Act: This act funds job training and placement services. Section 188 of this act prohibits most job training and placement services from denying services to or discriminating against qualified applicants on the basis of disability, if those who meet the eligibility requirements for these services are not currently using drugs illegally.

A key component to each of these laws is that you are not currently using illegal drugs. If you continue using illegal drugs, then you are likely considered an ineligible applicant for the job position or housing transaction.

Remember that, by law, discrimination is not allowed. These laws exist to protect you when seeking employment and/or housing. When applying for a job, consider reading up on each of these laws so you know what a possible employer may ask you about recovery. You should never lie to an employer, but you should know your rights during the job search process.

If you have any questions, please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline so our admissions coordinators can answer any questions you have about your rights in recovery. 1-877-345-3370