The DOL recently issued guidance to help covered employers better understand how to comply with the FMLA regarding mental health. Per the DOL, “an eligible employee may take FMLA leave for their own serious health condition, or to care for a spouse, child or parent because of their serious health condition. A serious health condition can include a mental health condition.”
The guidance includes “Fact Sheet #280: Mental Health Conditions and the FLMA” and “Frequently Asked Questions on the FMLA’s mental health provisions.”
As a quick reminder, private employers are covered under the FMLA if they employed 50 or more employees in 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year, including joint employers or successors in interest to another covered employer. To be eligible for FMLA leave, employees of covered employers must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and have at least 1,250 hours of service for the employer during the last 12 months before the leave.
Per the guidance, a “serious mental health condition” is one that requires continuing treatment by a health care provider. Employers can require employees submit a certification from a health care provider to support the employee’s need for FMLA. The information provided on the certification must be sufficient to support the need for leave, but a diagnosis is not required.