What are my husband’s rights if he has been hospitalized for extreme depression due tohis heavy work load?

Husband has been admitted to a mental hospital due to extreme depression due to work overload.He is a maintenance man for an apartment complex and on call 24/7. Our family doctor has notified employer of leave for undetermined length of time. Can the employer terminate him? If so, can he collect unemployment benefits. Also, my husband provides our income and not sure what to do.

Asked on August 28, 2011 Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) Your employer can probably terminate him for not coming into work, *unless* both the employer and your husband are covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act and he takes FMLA leave for his medical care. (Employers are only covered if they have at least 50 employees withing 75 miles; employees need to work certain minimum hours to be covered.) Otherwise, the law does not require employers to allow employees to take leave and hold their jobs for them.

2) If your husband is fired for taking leave when he's not allowed to, he can't collect unemployment if the employer disputes his claim--he would be considered to be fired for cause.

You should speak with an attorney who can see whether there may be any benefits (state disability; SSI; worker's companesation) to which you and your husband may make a claim, and also  whether he can take FMLA leave to preserve his job.


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