Executive Addiction: An Equal Opportunity Illness

assorted medication capsules

Addiction doesn’t discriminate. It impacts people in all walks of life including corporate executives. However, leaders of companies may have more resources to hide their addictions to drinking, drugs, gambling, porn, sex or other compulsive behaviors.

The stress and pressures of c-suite roles can be an excuse to go overboard. The “work hard, play hard” motto may shield some executives from the responsibility of their addiction.

A recent CNN article shares:

Thanks to the Americans for Disabilities Act, merely having an addiction is not a fireable offense, unless, for instance, the addict is actively using illegal drugs. But the ADA protections do not excuse bad behavior or poor job performance, nor do they overwrite the terms for potential termination in an executive’s contract. …

If the board of directors considers it harmful to the reputation of the business or its affiliates, the company is likely within its rights to terminate the executive, according to James Reidy, a management side labor and employment law attorney at the firm Sheehan Phinney.

Due to their position and income, executives sometimes have more resources than most for treatment. However, their need for privacy and a work continuity plan are additional variables that need to be considered for leaders facing this experience.

Read more about addiction of high-profile individuals through Russell Brand’s experience.