DOL Addresses How The FMLA Applies To Mental Health

Volume: 21 | Issue: 29
June 16, 2022

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has published new guidance to outline how the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to mental health conditions. Issued in May during National Mental Health Awareness Month, the guidance is designed to ensure that workers needing mental health support are able to use job-protected leave under the FMLA.

The DOL explains that a serious health condition includes a mental health condition if it requires inpatient care or continuing treatment by a healthcare provider, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or a physician. Thus, an employee who needs time off for their own mental health condition or for a mental health condition of a spouse, child or parent, may be entitled to FMLA leave.

The DOL also provides frequently asked questions on this topic, addressing substance abuse counseling, therapy or medication appointments with physicians or psychologists, and when an employee can take FMLA leave for the mental health condition of an adult child.

We encourage all employers to review this new guidance and consider addressing mental health in your FMLA policy or in other leave/time off policies. As always, KZA attorneys are available to assist you in this regard.

KZA Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.

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