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Family & Medical Leave for Detox? North Carolina

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  • Family & Medical Leave for Detox? North Carolina

    Hello, I need some help dealing with a situation in our small business:

    We have an employee who will soon be participating in a court-ordered detox program for alcohol abuse. His problem has not spilled over into the workplace, and he has been a solid employee for a few years. The program will take place in two stages: one for five days, and the second for twenty days. During this time, he will be unable to work, of course. He has recently undergone a divorce, and is essentially living hand-to-mouth at this point, so he can't afford a month without income. We don't want to report him as being "laid off", because (a) this wouldn't be true, and (b) we haven't laid off an employee in decades, so we currently pay no state unemployment tax, and we're not inclined to change this situation, especially when it's not a true lay-off.

    So my question is: Is there a way under Family and Medical Leave Act for my employee to receive any compensation OTHER than unemployment for his missed work?
    We aren't in a position to pay his salary for this period of time, or we'd consider that option.

    We are located in North Carolina, and we have a total of 12 employees, if that's pertinent. Any information or suggestion would be appreciated, as we only have a few days to come up with a strategy for how to manage this situation!

  • #2
    FMLA is by definition unpaid leave, and since he will not be available for work, he will not be eligible for unemployment.

    Besides, if you have only 12 employees, FMLA does not apply.

    Do you offer a short term disability policy? If so, did the employee sign up for it? If so, what does the policy say with regards to detox?
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      If the employee doesn't have a disability inc. policy offered by you (the employer)/or
      you don't offer one or doesn't have his own personal policy that would cover (pay for) this time off, there is no income available. There is no state disability income plan in
      NC.
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

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