Many people from Connecticut struggle with mental health issues. Recently, the Department of Labor clarified the criteria for mental health leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Caring for yourself to recover
An employee is considered eligible to take time off for a serious mental health condition. According to the Department of Labor, a mental health condition is considered serious if it requires inpatient care in a hospital or other type of medical care facility at least overnight and when the person needs continuous treatment. Treatment must also be required for more than three consecutive days when the individual is incapacitated and cannot work or carry on their normal daily activities.
Workers who have certain types of serious mental health conditions like anxiety, depression and dissociative disorders qualify to take time off per the FMLA to receive therapy, prescription medication or rehab treatment. Individuals with eating disorders and substance use disorders are also permitted to take time off for treatment.
Caring for family members
An employee is also able to take time off to care for a family member with a serious mental health condition under the FMLA. They are permitted to care for their spouse, parent or child who is 18 or older if they are incapacitated and unable to care for themselves due to a serious mental health condition.
The Department of Labor also allows eligible employees to take time off work to care for a service member or veteran with a serious mental health condition that has rendered them unable to continue serving. The condition must have either developed or become worse while the service member or veteran was performing active duty. Conditions like PTSD, depression and traumatic brain injury qualify under the FMLA.
You are legally entitled to time off work under the FMLA to receive treatment for a mental health condition or to care for a family member with one. Your employer cannot retaliate against you for it.