White House makes push for ‘recovery-ready workplaces’

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The White House is pushing employers to create “recovery-related workplaces” to support those struggling with substance use disorder or who are in recovery.

The Biden administration released a guidebook for employers on how they can “respond more effectively to substance use disorder among employees, build their workforces through hiring people in recovery, and develop a recovery-supportive workplace culture.” The administration said recovery-ready workplaces aim to enforce a healthy work environment, will break down employment barriers and will promote addiction treatment and recovery resources.

“President Biden has called on all Americans to come together and beat the nation’s opioid epidemic,” White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Rahul Gupta said in a statement.

“The resources we’re announcing today bring together businesses, state and community leaders, and the federal government to ensure that people with addiction and those in recovery can get — and keep — jobs. A job is about dignity and respect, and ensuring American workplaces are recovery-ready will support millions of recovery journeys while strengthening our economy,” Gupta added.

The White House also unveiled a new model law for state legislators, which would establish a program where employers could be certified as recovery-ready workplaces and that would encourage employers to institute polices that would create a healthy work environment.

The model legislation, if adopted by state legislatures, would also create a tax credit and stipend for employers who are certified as recovery-ready workplaces and establish grant programs to advance these workplaces.

The administration also announced that Google and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) has committed to pushing for recovery-ready workplaces. Sununu said he established the Recovery-Friendly Workplace Institute “to help support states and employers as they develop recovery-ready workplace policies.”

“When I launched the Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative here in New Hampshire, our goal was to change the culture around addiction and engage employers in being a proactive part of their employees’ recovery,” Sununu said in a statement.

“The program, which has grown to over 350 participating businesses in New Hampshire representing over 95,000 employees, has spread across the country,” he continued. “Granite Staters can take pride that with today’s announcement, the model created here in New Hampshire will have an even greater lifesaving impact.”

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