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Question and Answer


4. I stopped drinking 2 years ago. I told my MD, and it went into my file. Now, I've gone to his Office for 3 physicals for 3 different jobs, and the physical says 'Recovering Alcoholic", which is true, but so far 3 jobs offers have been withdrawn, 2 of the companies saying something about 'due to my past drinking'. I've never had a problem with the law, never been violent, always worked, got an education, pay my taxes and have a good home in a good neighborhood and am liked and respected by most everyone. But I can't get a better job so far due to the "Label". What do I do?

submitted by Toppe


There is no easy answer to this question, and you have several options of what to do. First of all, let me say that unfortunately you are not alone. I have heard this same scenario time and time again. There are potentially three different options open to you.
 The first option is a legal option. You are being discriminated against solely on the basis of your diagnosis. This is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). At the end of this response to your question I will include more information about the ADA. For a prospective employer to say they will not hire you “due to your past drinking” is a violation of this law. You may want to consult an attorney regarding this, but there are legal costs associated with this; and if you pursue it in court, it becomes a matter of public record.
 The second option would be to consult with your doctor. Explain what has happened and ask him not to release any information from your record regarding your drinking history without your express written consent. It would be best if you put this request in writing. This then places your doctor under an obligation not to disclose this information in the future. There are state specific and national regulations regarding confidentiality of medical records.
 The third option would be for you to do nothing. Do you want to work for a company that discriminates against alcoholics? I do not know what line of work you are in or how many options for employment you have, but you may find that if you, “Let Go and Let God,” He will lead you to a new opportunity. This does not mean sit around and do nothing, you still have to do the legwork filling out applications and interviewing. It means that you simply trust God to bring you to where he wants you to be.
 My best advice would be to do some of each of the above options. If an employment application/ asks questions about whether or not you drink – leave it blank. This type of question is illegal. However, you must answer questions about arrest records and hospitalizations or treatment if asked as these questions are legal to ask. Talk with your doctor as I indicated above, and pray. All of these things can help. Below is the link to the additional information about the ADA. Good luck, let me know how things turn out. 

Click here to get more information about the ADA