White Papers Week 5: Addiction in the Workplace
Addiction in the Workplace
Understanding Your Rights and the Limitations of the Law
Employment is an integral component of recovery from addiction - a hardly revolutionary notion. Having a job allows an individual to provide for oneself, develop autonomy and accountability, while also embarking on a personal journey toward a larger purpose. As young people in or seeking recovery enter - or re-enter - the workforce, understanding workplace protections against discrimination is critical to ongoing recovery support because the law is commonly what stands between gainful employment and termination when the issue arises - more commonly ending in termination. As the law currently stands, limited protections - to put it mildly - are afforded to workers with addiction issues. However, as addiction continues to be better understood as a medical issue, rather than strictly a performance issue, workplace protections will ideally improve via advocacy and lobbying efforts, which is why having a basic understanding of the legal landscape is important.
Download the full white paper, Addiction in the Workplace
Robert Ashford is an expert in behavioral health recovery and social justice advocacy, and devotes his time to exploring the impact of substance use disorders and mental health concerns on youth and young adult populations. His research focuses on substance use, recovery communities, integrated behavioral health systems, linguistic patterns, and technological interventions for behavioral health disorders. Mr. Ashford currently serves as a Technical Assistance Manager at JBS International, where most of his time is committed to the Medication Assisted Treatment – Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction federal grant program. He holds a Bachelor of Social Work with minors in Addiction Studies and Psychology from the University of North Texas, and a Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice (SP2). Robert has also completed fellowships with the Treatment Research Institute and is currently a research fellow at the Center on the Continuum of Care in Addictions at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Robert has been the recipient of many prestigious awards, most notably NADAAC’s Young Emerging Leader Award (2014), Young People in Recovery’s Advocate of the Year (2014), University of North Founders’ Award (2015), and the University of Pennsylvania Provost’s Citation for Excellence in Service (2017). He is a current national recovery planning partner for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), grant reviewer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and serves as an appointee to the Philadelphia Mayor’s Task Force to Combat the Opioid Epidemic.