Job burnout doesn't qualify for FMLA leave.

The pandemic has pushed many workers to the crispy side of the burnout scale. But as a federal court recently ruled, basic job burnout or job fatigue isn't enough to qualify an employee for job-protected FMLA leave, unless the worker can point to an underlying or resulting "serious medical condition."

Other courts have rejected similar FMLA claims from people who've simply complained they were "tired," "sick" or "seeking counseling for stress." And while it's the employer's job to determine whether a leave request is FMLA-qualifying, you typically don't need to pry beyond what the worker tells you.

Recent case: Coming off a 24-hour shift, a paramedic in Alabama told his boss that "he couldn't do it anymore" and would "turn his stuff in." He conceded that those statements meant he was resigning.

He then sued for FMLA interference, saying his "burnout or chronic fatigue" constituted a serious condition under the FMLA. He never asked for FMLA leave or presented a doctor's note, but said the city...

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