What are Employees’ Right to Stress Leave?


If an employee becomes stressed due to their job, they may file for leave under the Revised Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This could be due to stress caused by conditions relating to their job or interaction with other coworkers. In order to receive FMLA leave, the employee must have suffered mental harm and received treatment for it.

The FMLA Defined

The government formed the FMLA due to an increase in workplace stress felt by employees. Under this Act, an employee has the ability to claim leave, which is due to stress caused by workplace conditions. To meet the guidelines for FMLA leave, the employee must work for a private firm or government agency that has 50 or more employees. In addition, the employee must have a history of working at least 1250 hours in the last 52 weeks. The leave must be based on the two following conditions:

– The employee must have a serious health condition due to the stress
– The health condition must make the employee incapable of performing his or her job functions

If these conditions cannot be met, the employee is not entitled to leave under FMLA guidelines.

FMLA Guidelines

One of the guidelines that must be met for an employee to file for leave under the FMLA guidelines pertains to mental illness. The employee must be involved with inpatient care or continuous treatment by a provider in the healthcare system. If the employee didn’t receive any type of inpatient treatment, treatment must have been given by a certified healthcare provider. In addition, the employee must have missed three consecutive calendar days from work due to their incapacitation. If the employee fails to comply with these requirements, they will not be eligible for FMLA leave.

Another condition that must be met by an employee who seeks FMLA leave pertains to continuous treatment. The law mandates that continuing treatment must be combined with proof that the employee could not perform his job due to incapacitation.

To file for FMLA leave, an employee must notify their employer. This is done by sending the employer a 30-day notice requesting FMLA leave. Also, medical notes pertaining to the condition of the employee must be submitted by the employee to the employer. These must be certified and include a testament from the medical practitioner stating that the employee suffers from a serious malady that was brought on by the inability to perform work duties due to the conditions of their work. It must be issued by a mental health specialist or physician who has seen and diagnosed the employee.

FMLA Benefits

When an employee has met the guidelines to receive FMLA benefits, they are able to take 12 weeks off of work during a 52 week work period. They have the opportunity to take their time off from work intermittently during the 52 week period or all at the same time.