Stress leave in California?
Question Details: I recently left my stressful job due to depression and stress. My doctor and I both wrote a letter to my employer stating that the job has caused depression and stress and I'm taking an indefinite leave of absence. I work part-time and do not have any benefits whatsoever. What do I do in my case? Can they hire someone else, although I dont plan on going back to work for them?
If you work part time and do not have any benefits, then there is nothing the company owes you if you are not working for them.
Taking an indefinite leave of absence is the same as quitting; under the Family and Medical Leave Act, you may have been able to take an unpaid leave of absence for medical reasons for up to 12 weeks, but you needed to indicate that you were doing that when you took the leave. Simply saying you are leaving for an indefinite time is essentially giving your notice. The company may therefore hire someone else to do your job. (And if you're not planning on returning, that shouldn't matter, anyway.)
If your company provided or you otherwise had a disability policy, you might be able to claim under it. If your depression was caused by your work, then if you worked enough hours to qualify for Workers Comp, you *might* be able to receive Worker's Comp--though expect to be fought on that, since it is *very* hard to show that depression was caused by a job, and not other life stress or a biochemical imbalance.
Possibly you could collect, if you are disabled long-term by your condition, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), though again, this tends to be difficult in cases like depression since it is hard to show the disability (compared to something simple, like paralysis of one or more limbs).
You can't get unemployment, because you left voluntarily.