The Family Medical Leave Act defines a serious health condition as a medical condition that lasts for three or more consecutive days and requires a doctor’s treatment. In this Denver Post Article, this is increasingly being used for workplace stress. Courts have traditionally been very skeptical of someone claiming to have a ‘case of the monday’s’ (and Tues and Wed I guess to qualify), but have sided with employees when there is a physical result, such as panic attacks.
Mountain States Employers Council’s Staff Attorney, David Dixon, is worried that new guidelines for physicians being able to define stress related conditions that could lead to even more workers elegible for medical leave or disability. The website StressDirections.com Inc. claims that half of absences and a third of worker’s compensation claims are tied to stress. It failed to report how much someone’s heavy use of perfume factored into that stat.
Workplace stress related claims started rising in 2008, which coincides with the economy tanking. It only makes sense that when companies require more people to do more tasks, that results in more stress for those remaining workers. Is this rise in workplace stress claims evidence that employers may have pushed too far, or another way for rogue employees to avoid work?