The Biden administration recently launched the Recovery-Ready Workplace initiative, along with an online hub, urging employers nationwide to actively support individuals in recovery from addiction. The program provides a toolkit for employers and endorses a model state law to incentivize businesses to become "recovery-friendly" workplaces. With over 20 million Americans in recovery, the initiative aims to combat discrimination faced by those seeking employment while presenting a mutually beneficial opportunity for both individuals and businesses.
Rahul Gupta, the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, emphasized the critical role that employment plays in the recovery journey, offering stability for millions of Americans dealing with substance use disorder. This initiative acknowledges addiction as a complex process, challenging the notion of it as a conscious choice. While lacking binding federal commitments, the potential impact at state levels is substantial, considering that 46 million Americans met substance use disorder criteria in 2021, with 27 million employed. The initiative encourages businesses to foster a pro-recovery culture, offering peer support groups and recovery-specific time off, thereby reducing staff turnover and associated healthcare costs.
The program endorses a model state law providing tax credits for employers hiring individuals in recovery. Google has recently joined the initiative, enhancing its policies for a recovery-ready workforce. This move is a significant step towards creating inclusive workplaces, challenging stigmas around addiction, and emphasizing equal opportunities for everyone to learn, grow, and contribute positively.
- (2023, November 8). Model Recovery Ready Workplaces Act | LAPPA. LAPPA. https://legislativeanalysis.org/model-recovery-ready-workplaces-act/
- Facher, L. (2023, November 9). To fight bias against people with addiction, White House calls for ‘recovery-friendly’ workplaces. STAT. https://www.statnews.com/2023/11/09/opioid-addiction-recovery-employers-biden/
- Federal Recovery-Ready Workplace Interagency Workgroup. Recovery-Ready Workplace Toolkit: Guidance and Resources for Private and Public Sector Employers. 2023. dol.gov/agencies/eta/RRW-hub/Toolkit
- Recovery-Ready Workplace Resource Hub. (n.d.). DOL. https://www.dol.gov/agencies/eta/RRW-hub