Last year Governor Chris Sununu announced the creation of the Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative, although the related programs are still getting off the ground.
What is a recovery friendly workplace?
There is not a strict definition of a recovery friendly workplace at this point. It may encompass any of the following:
- Staying open to hiring workers recovering from addiction
- Instead of terminating employees abusing alcohol or drugs, committing those employees to a plan for treatment and recovery
- Receiving training on how to reduce substance misuse in the workplace and how to support workers in recovery
- Supporting activities in the community to raise awareness around substance misuse and addiction
Would you like to see your employer or business become a recovery friendly workplace? Learn more here.
How is the state supporting recovery friendly workplaces?
The Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative, announced by Gov. Sununu last winter, aims to increase the number of recovery friendly workplaces by funding training and other resources for employers related to addiction issues.
His announcement included thirteen employers committed to “adopting the Recovery Friendly Workplace framework for a trial-period” – but the framework, funding, and programs have yet to really get off the ground.
At first legislators considered funding the initiative through a tax credit for businesses that donated to qualifying recovery friendly workplace programs. Lawmakers instead settled on providing $1 million in funding for the initiative as part of a bill passed in June.
In August the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) earmarked another $250,000 in federal grants for the initiative.
In October the Community Development Finance Authority – a nonprofit funded by the state – issued a Request for Proposal for an organization to take a lead role in developing programs under the Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative.
Other state programs to fight addiction
The $250,000 DHHS earmarked for the Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative is a small piece of the $23 million DHHS is expecting in federal funds to fight addiction. The state’s plans for those funds include a range of different proposals, from building a “one stop shop” website for addiction services to mobile crisis response teams for opioid abuse.
There is also state money earmarked for addiction treatment. Those funds were bumped up by $21 million in the last state budget.
In 2019 the legislature will set the next two-years of funding for addiction-related programs, including the Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative.