The Family Medical Leave Act provides job protection to Texas workers and employees nationwide who need extended time off for medical reasons. FMLA is a federal law that all employers must comply with, although mental health leave has presented some challenges.
In other business law topics, FMLA for mental health conditions is subject to the same laws as for physical conditions requiring leave. An employee is entitled to FMLA leave if they meet the following criteria:
- Employed the previous twelve months by the current employer
- Have a minimum of 1,250 hours of service during the last 12 months
- Works at a job site that has 50 employees minimum within 75 miles
Your employer must continue your group health benefits during your FMLA leave, and the leave can be with or without pay.
FMLA mental health leave
Medical documentation from a licensed board-certified physician regarding your care, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis is required to support your FMLA request. In other business law topics, mental health is not different from physical health under FMLA law. If you have a serious mental health condition requiring inpatient or long-term outpatient care, you can qualify for FMLA.
Suppose a mental health condition requires a three-day minimum hospital stay or sporadic, intermittent treatment from a mental health clinician multiple times a year. An FMLA leave request can be validated in that situation and provide job protection. FMLA leave can be intermittent and doesn’t have to be continuous for the full twelve weeks. There can be multiple FMLA leave requests for the same or different diagnoses.
Stress related FMLA requests
If your work environment isn’t safe and comfortable and causes stress that requires medical treatment, you may file an FMLA claim. In other business law topics, you can find helpful discussions about how FMLA covers mental health.