I no longer practice but I live in Ohio and am the peer assistance advisor for CRNAs in Ohio.
My first question, did you make a disability claim? You are entitled to your disability coverage unless the policy specifically states substance abuse is not covered. Yes, the insurance company will tell you you're not covered. As a CRNA and attorney I have contact with says...they will lie to you about the coverage. They know we feel guilty as hell when it comes to this whole topic. Pursue the legal rights you have for disability coverage. By receiving disability payments you can focus on your recovery. The first year is so important in establishing a solid program and enabling you to deal with the stress of returning to the work force.
Second question, were you fired as a result of diversion? Even though you may have been fired, your disability insurance may still be in effect. Contact me for additional info in that respect. Better yet talk with an attorney familiar with nursing law and issues.
If you were arrested and/or prosecuted, or have a plea bargain in place, any prospective employer who performs a background check will discover your record. If you withhold the information regarding your record, they most likely will fire you for lying on your application and during your interview. If you have no criminal record, you are not obligated to tell any potential employer about your treatment. They are also specifically prohibited from asking you about addiction or alcoholism (ADA) in your past.
Information from the Federal Government about the ADA and your rights:
In general, these employers
- May not deny a job to or fire a person because he or she is in treatment or in recovery from a substance use disorder, unless the person's disorder would prevent safe and competent job performance.
- Must provide "reasonable accommodations," when needed, to enable those with a disability to perform their job duties. Changing work hours to let an employee attend treatment is one kind of a reasonable accommodation. (But if an accommodation would cause the employer undue hardship--significant difficulty or expense--it is not required.)
- Must keep confidential any medical-related information they discover about a job applicant or employee, including information about a past or present substance use disorder.
The non-discrimination laws protect only applicants and employees qualified for the job who currently are not engaging in the illegal use of drugs.
- "Qualified" means that a person meets the basic qualification requirements for the job, and is able to perform its essential functions--fundamental duties--with or without a reasonable accommodation.
- Remember: people who pose a direct threat to health or safety, or have committed misconduct warranting job discipline, including termination, are not protected.
"Before making a job offer, employers may not ask:
Employers may ask job applicants:
- Questions about whether a job applicant has or has had a disability, or about the nature or severity of an applicant's disability. Pre-offer medical examinations also are illegal.
- Whether a job applicant is or has ever abused or been addicted to drugs or alcohol, or if the applicant is being treated by a substance abuse rehabilitation program, or has received such treatment in the past.
- Whether the applicant currently is using drugs illegally
- Whether the applicant drinks alcohol
- Whether the applicant can perform the duties of the job."
Having said all of that, I recommend you be up front with any potential employer. I was rejected for several jobs because of my history (although they gave me other "reasons"), but I was also hired because I was up front and open. Something to consider.