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Employment Law Alert – Leave for Mental Health Conditions under the FMLA

May 31, 2022

As we recognize May as Mental Health Awareness Month, the EEOC reminded employers that employees grappling with mental health conditions may be eligible for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). 

On May 25, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor published a resource document titled “Fact Sheet #280: Mental Health Conditions and the FMLA,” to address when eligible employees of covered employers may use FMLA leave for their own or a family member’s serious mental health condition. 

The U.S. Department of Labor guidance explains that mental and physical conditions are considered serious mental health conditions under the FMLA if they require (1) inpatient care, or (2) continuing treatment by a health care provider. An employee may take up to 12 workweeks of leave for their own health conditions that incapacitate an individual for more than three consecutive days and requires ongoing medical treatment. 

This fact sheet focuses on rights under the Federal FMLA, but employees might also have rights or protections under disability laws or state and local laws.   Employers must begin thinking about if and how to revise FMLA and leave policies to address chronic conditions (e.g., anxiety, depression, or dissociative disorders) that cause occasional periods when an individual is incapacitated and when they may require an employee to submit a certification from a health care provider to support an employee’s need for FMLA leave.

If you have any questions about this Alert, we encourage you to reach out to your Shulman Rogers contact for solutions and recommendations for addressing these leave and disability issues. 


Meredith “Merry” Campbell

Joy C. Einstein

Alexander I. Castelli

Drew Ricci 


The contents of this Alert are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact the Shulman Rogers attorney with whom you regularly work or a member of the Shulman Rogers Employment and Labor Law Group.


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