Does the FMLA cover leave for ‘stress’?

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. One of our employees has asked to go on medical leave due to “stress.” Does stress qualify as a condition that requires leave?

A. As a general matter, under the FMLA, employees who claim leave based on their own medical condition, such as “stress,” must show the leave is

  1. the result of a serious health condition that
  2. makes the employee unable to perform the functions of his or her job. If either of these elements is not met, the employee is not entitled to FMLA leave.  

Before the U.S. Department of Labor revised the regulations for implementing the FMLA in 2009, the law specified that mental illness “resulting from stress or allergies” may be a serious health condition. That language was deleted in the current regulations to clarify that a mental illness, regardless of its cause, can be a serious health condition under the FMLA if all the regulatory requirements are met.

Currently, under the FMLA, a “serious health con...(register to read more)

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