While dentists are often business owners or partners, dental hygienists are typically employees — each employment type has different implications in relation to how to handle your situation with substance abuse or mental health issues.

If your employer is unaware of your current situation, then you should immediately obtain information about the organization’s policies for medical leave, substance use, Employee Assistance Programs, and any other relevant policies. Follow the instructions described in the policies and seek assistance as needed.

If your employer has taken, or may take, disciplinary action because of a violation of the organization’s policies, then you should seriously consider seeking legal counsel. Be aware that depending on your circumstance, the employer may be required by law to report your workplace situation to the licensing board.

Many employment related issues are regulated through the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. Find a wealth of helpful information and fact sheets on their website now >>

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