Working long hours can take a huge toll on your health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines job stress as the physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of a job do not match the capabilities of the worker. The Family Medical Leave Act allows employees up to 12 weeks of leave for specified family and medical reasons. If your physician determines you need relief from the stress of work, you may be able to take a medical leave.
Check with human resources to see exactly how many employees your company has. According to the U. S. Department of Labor, the FMLA applies to any private employer who engages in commerce and has had 50 or more employees each day for at least 20 weeks during the current or previous year. The law also covers most government agencies, regardless of how many employees they have.
Talk to your physician to see if he feels you qualify for leave of absence due to stress. According to the Legal Aid Society, if you're suffering from a serious health condition that would cause you to be unable to do your job for a period and are under continuing treatment by your physician, you may qualify under the FMLA. Request the required documentation from the physician’s office and ask for an FMLA form from your human resources manager.
Notify your employer that you need to take leave. You must give your employer 30 days notice for any family or medical leave that is foreseeable. If the leave is sudden, give notice as soon as possible.
Fill in your personal information on the FMLA form. Indicate when you will be taking medical leave and for how long. Fill out all of your personal information and sign your name on the certification from your health care provider. Some employers may ask you to have your doctor sign a medical release form, which gives your doctor permission to release medical information to your employer.
Make copies of all of the forms before you turn them in. You can refer to the papers to know your exact date of return or to answer any other questions you may have.
Turn the original papers in to your employer as soon as possible.
- United States Department of Labor: Family and Medical Leave Act
- Better Health Channel: Work-Related Stress
- Legal Aid Society: Taking Leave from Work for Your Own Health Condition
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- United States Department of Labor: Health Benefits, Retirement Standards, and Workers’ Compensation: Family and Medical Leave
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