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Stress Leave or Disability due to Macular Degeneration, California

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  • Stress Leave or Disability due to Macular Degeneration, California

    I'm a 39 year old with an eye disease called Macular Degeneration (the leading cause of blindness in the world), I have had this disease for 9 years and have been employed by the same company. In the last 3 years, my vision has deteriorated more quickly. I have had 13 laser surgeries between both eyes, agter each procedure I am unable to read or work on a computer for 2 weeks, the full recovery takes 6 months. I am in the technology business and need to use a computer daily to fulfull my daily resposibilities as a Project Manager, Technical Field Support Supervisor, Trainer and Customer Support Manager. The job is very demanding, I often work 70 to 80 hours a week and still can't keep up. I literally do the job of 3 people, my direct report and co-workers know this. Due to difficulty seeing when it's dark, I don't drive at night and limit my day driving which is also part of my job. I wear contacts and need reading glasses when working on my computer or when reading. Sunglasses are a must whenever going outside even when it's overcast. The amount of responsibility i have is too much for one person to bear, I have been bearing it for far too long. I feel that stress is taking it's toll on my vision. I have let my supervisor know but I get little or no help. I am allowed to work from home, although this is frowned upon. Can I take a stress leave or does this fall under disability? Where do I get started before I am forced to just quit. Did I mention I am a home owner, have 2 kids and a wife to support?

  • #2
    Unless the stress is causing you to suffer from a serious health condition and supported by a doctor, your employer is not compelled to grant you leave. There is no such thing as "stress leave". This would not fall under WC either.

    If you suffer from a serious health condition and are unable to work, then you might qualify for FMLA or SDI. Bear in mind that SDI is only income replacement and not leave from work. FMLA is only leave from work and not income replacement. Each is mutually exclusive and you may qualify for one, both or neither. Since you have taken leave already, you should know whether you qualify for FMLA. If you do and have not taken more than 12 weeks off this year, you would be eligible for the balance.

    If your job is causing you this much stress, the best thing to do is start looking for another one. You can make excuses all day why you can not, but that is the only way to ensure that things change.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


    • #3
      I answered this question in the other forum where it was posted. Please post each question only once as all responders read all the employment law forums and it is much easier if all information is in one place.
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.