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Can alcoholism or addiction qualify for workplace accommodations?

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2024 | Employment Law |

In the United States, both federal and state laws protect individuals with disabilities from employment discrimination.

These protections come from the Americans with Disabilities Act at the federal level and Oregon’s disability laws.

For those struggling with alcohol and drug addiction, they may need workplace accommodations to deal with their diseases. But, can alcoholism or drug addiction qualify for workplace accommodations?

Defining disability

A disability is characterized by a physical or mental impairment that significantly restricts one or more major life activities. This includes those with a record of such an impairment or those perceived as having such an impairment.

Does alcoholism qualify as a disability?

Alcoholism is recognized as a disability under both federal and state law. This means that employees suffering from alcoholism may be entitled to reasonable workplace accommodations.

What about drug addiction?

The situation with drug addiction is more nuanced. Currently, illegal drug use is not considered a disability. However, individuals who are in a supervised rehabilitation program or have completed such a program may be protected and could qualify for workplace accommodations.

Workplace accommodations

Workplace accommodations vary based on individual needs. They may include modified work schedules, leave for treatment or recovery, changes in job duties, etc.


Alcoholism and drug addiction are significant issues that can affect every aspect of your life, including your work performance, but these diseases may also qualify for workplace accommodations under certain conditions in Portland, Oregon. Each case is unique and should be assessed individually to determine appropriate accommodation.



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