The Connecticut Department of Labor is surveying employers for input on a program for recovery friendly workplaces.
An RFW is an employer-based effort that enables employees with a substance use disorder to remain employed during their recovery.
For someone recovering from a substance use disorder, a steady job is one of the most important parts of recovery.
By treating the disorder as a healthcare issue, RFW programs destigmatize addiction and have a positive economic impact for the employer through better employee retention, higher productivity, and lower turnover.
The state labor department is building an RFW program in Connecticut but will first survey employers.
The confidential survey takes one to two minutes and will help create a program designed to give businesses the tools needed to help employees with recovery.
Connecticut's RFW initiative is funded by a $4.7 million federal grant the department received last fall.
The money is also being used to hire peer navigators in the state's American Job Center hubs who will be trained to help recovering individuals prepare for new careers.
Labor commissioner Kurt Westby said the funding will create "vital workforce development programs that present concrete solutions for those affected by opioid addiction."
The department's Robert Bongiolatti, lead for the grant, said they hope to survey as many employers as possible.
"We acknowledge the fact that small to midsize employers often do not have the resources, time and money to fully implement a true 'recovery friendly environment,'" Bongiolatti said.
"But we need their feedback on what information, tools and resources they would need to consider participating in our initiative."
The efforts also include developing an employer friendly toolkit.
Once the toolkit is complete it will become part of the labor department's overall initiative, designed to provide necessary resources for employers.