Can an employer terminate you because you would not go through a medical process if you could not afford it and did not have heath insurance to cover it?

I was called an alcoholic and was ordered to go to rehabilitation or lose my job. I never arrived at work intoxicated, however there were times I may have smelt like it from ten previous night (not unlike many other co-workers). The company is the largest liquor store. Just one of many departments. I was never given a test of any sort to prove my innocence. When I did not comply with his demand, I was placed on unpaid leave and eventually fired.

Asked on July 23, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is entirely possible that your former employer was well within its rights to require you as a condition of continued employment to go through rehabilitation for a perceived substance abuse problem. One reason is that your perceived alcohol problem could very well lead to dangers to you in the work place as well as co-employees and others.

If you believe that you were wrongfully terminated, I suggest that you consult with an attorney that practices employment law and/or make a complaint with your local department of labor about what transpired.

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