FMLA and Mental Health Conditions
The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released new resources on workers’ rights to leave for mental health conditions under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In a press release, the DOL said it published the new guidance in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month.
New DOL Fact Sheet and FAQs
The new guidance includes:
Fact Sheet #28O: Mental Health Conditions and the FMLA
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the FMLA’s mental health provisions
Mental Health as a Serious Health Condition
An eligible employee may take FMLA leave for their own serious health condition or to care for a spouse, child or parent because of their serious health condition.
The new resources make clear that mental health conditions are considered serious health conditions under the FMLA if they require inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider, such as an overnight stay in a treatment center for addiction or continuing treatment by a clinical psychologist. Chronic conditions such as anxiety, depression, or dissociative disorders that cause occasional incapacitated periods and require treatment at least twice a year fall under the “continuing treatment” definition.
The FAQs provide additional examples of situations that qualify for FMLA leave, including treatment sessions for anorexia nervosa and caring for an adult child whose mental health condition is a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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