Employee Rights to Stress Leave


The Family and Medical Leave Act allows an employee to take 12 unpaid weeks off from work during a 12-month period due to serious medical conditions or family issues. The law also protects the employee's job security while on leave. Employees who can show that a medical condition, including stress, prevents them from accomplishing their tasks can request leave. The FMLA allows employees the opportunity to take their leave time all at once, or intermittently throughout the 12 months to undergo continuing treatment.

Stressed businessman at work
Stressed businessman at work (Image: XiXinXing/XiXinXing/Getty Images)


Employees who work for government agencies or private firms that have at least 50 employees can qualify for FMLA stress leave. The employee must have worked for that employer for at least 1250 hours in the last 12 months. Upon request, he must provide certification from a medical professional that cites the need for continuing treatment for a stress-related health problem. The employee also must show that the health issue left him incapacitated for work for at least three consecutive calendar days and that the leave requested is designed to treat his condition.

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