Employees can take stress leave as a sort of leave of absence to deal with stress-related concerns. It should be noted that “stress leave” is not a technical term but rather falls under the scope of “medical leave.” Therefore, it is protected by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which provides eligible workers unpaid leave with no risk of losing their employment or entitlements for up to 12 workweeks.
Workers might believe that stress leave is required when mental health concerns are so serious that a brief absence from work will not satisfy. Nonetheless, you may be entitled to stress leave if you are facing any of the following circumstances:
- High-stress levels that are impacting your ability to carry out your job tasks successfully
- Job-related stresses have adversely impacted your personal life
- You are suffering from depression or anxiety due to your workload (as attested by a healthcare practitioner)
Why Is Stress Leave Required?
Employees require stress leave to deal with a variety of job-related pressures, which might comprise any of the following:
- Unhealthy work-life balance: If you cannot truly “disconnect” from your job, you might feel as if you do not have the strength to commit to other aspects of your life. You do not even have time to prepare a healthy dinner for yourself, let alone exercise self-care.
- Conflict in the workplace: Working with workplace bullies, arrogant colleagues, or people who get away with abuse is a formula for excessive job stress. Furthermore, you have to spend a significant portion of your whole day with these individuals- when you are encircled by negativity, stress is unavoidable.
- Overworked: Exhaustion is a real thing, and there are times when a stress leave is the only way to get out from beneath a mound of work.
Unattainable deadlines, obligations that go beyond the scope of your job description, a loss of enthusiasm, and cynicism about your job are all signs of exhaustion and may necessitate a time of stress leave to deal with.
How To Ask For Stress Leave
Asking a leave of absence is subject to your boss’s rules. Thus, examine your employment agreement before beginning the procedure. Nevertheless, irrespective of your organization, there are a few action steps you should take:
- Confirm to see if the FMLA protects your employer
- Look up the laws in your state
- Check your employment agreement
- Consult with a medical practitioner. Note that stress leave falls under medical leave, so you will have to give proof of your sickness
- Obtain a doctor’s note. Inquire directly with your therapist or doctor whether they will help you in seeking a leave of absence. You could either choose a specific time frame or request their recommendation.
- Provide your employer advance notice. Before obtaining a leave of absence, federal and state laws compel you to give your employer adequate notice. Workers must provide at minimum 30 days’ notification for reasonably foreseeable scenarios such as impending births or an anticipated medical treatment under the FMLA.
- Send in your request. Once you have gathered all relevant documentation, you can submit your request for a medical leave of absence. You are not required to reveal any detailed information about your disease or care plan. Specify the particular dates you want off, the basic reason (medical), and whether you are using the FMLA or state legislation.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If your boss agrees to your stress leave, you must take it seriously and observe your doctor’s advice so that you can resume work in a happier, healthier state. But suppose your employer fails to approve your medical leave due to stress. In that case, it is best to consult with experienced New Jersey employment law attorneys on the right course of action. Schedule a consultation today by contacting the office through mobile or fill the online contact form.