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Mental Health Conditions Can Trigger FMLA

In May 2022, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor released Fact Sheet #280 related to mental health conditions and the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).

As background, among the qualifying reasons that a person may qualify for FMLA leave are:

• To care for a spouse, son, daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition; and

• Because of a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of his or her position.

A serious health condition is defined as an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care in a hospital, hospice or residential medical care facility or continuing treatment.

The fact sheet clarifies that a serious mental health condition that requires inpatient care includes an overnight stay in a hospital or other medical care facility, such as, for example, a treatment center for addiction or eating disorders.

In addition, the fact sheet notes that a serious mental health condition that requires continuing treatment by a health care provider includes:

• Conditions that incapacitate an individual for more than three consecutive days and require ongoing medical treatment by a health care provider, including a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, or clinical social worker; and

• Chronic conditions (e.g., anxiety, depression, or dissociative disorders) that cause occasional periods when an individual is incapacitated and require treatment by a health care provider at least twice a year.

About the FMLA

FMLA leave is available to:

• Eligible employees: Employees are eligible if they work for a covered employer for at least 12 months, have at least 1,250 hours of service for the employer during the 12 months before the leave, and work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles.

• of Covered Employers: Private employers are covered employers under the FMLA if they employed 50 or more employees in 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year, including joint employers or successors in interest to another covered employer. Public agencies, including a local, state, or Federal government agency, and public and private elementary and secondary schools are FMLA covered employers regardless of the number of employees they employ.

FMLA requires employers to:

• Provide 12 work weeks of FMLA leave each year;

• continue an employee’s group health benefits under the same conditions as if the employee had not taken leave; and

• restore the employee to the same or virtually identical position at the end of the leave period.

For any questions regarding FMLA please contact Guru Business Solutions.

Guru Business Solutions, LLC

(866) 961-GURU

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