My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: California
Firstly, I would like to extend a thanks to all members of this site, I have been a reader for quite some time now, and feel that I have a couple things I now need help with.
This issue is in regards to being denied stress leave at my current employer. (If this is not the right forum, I apologize). I will try to be as brief as possible.
Background history up to the incident:
I am a salaried, full-time employee of a private business. My job entails many, many tasks and, as such, I pretty much wear a new hat each day. I have several supervisors and as such, my stress level is pretty high. I am overly extended as far as what a human is capable of doing (amount of overtime and lack of more than two arms).
I love the type of work I do, but over the course of a few months I had begun to get physically ill. At first, "allergies" started to occur, where anxiety and panic attacks caused me to believe my throat was swelling up. This directed me to my physician, who, for the course of this, would have to pump me full of corticosteroid shots, with my belief that this was all "allergies from the outside pollen". Please understand, I've never had allergies in my life prior to working at this company.
Eventually, stress began to kick in (and I mean my first, personal observation of what I believed the stress to be). This required medication of valium for a while. Eventually, my blood pressure continued to stay high, and that required further medications.
A couple months pass, and eventually my mental awareness is floored, I begin to forget many of the projects and tasks that I have been assigned, and others feel as though something is awry with me, and I'm not there 100%. I begin to develop small itches on the tops of my hands and feet. A few weeks after this, the itches become small swellings and continue up my ankles and arms. This prompts me and my doctor to believe it's severe allergic reactions to something unknown, required benadryl gel and more (of the same) medications.
Periodically, I ask for a day off every other week, and when I do so, my sleep consumes my entire day off. The itchiness leaves and I return to work. Within a couple of days, the itches return and out of suprise, there are hives running from my feet to my neck. I return to the doctor for an unknown count of times now, getting another shot. When the doctor now sees that the hives are spreading, she refers me to a very well respected allergist.
The allergist is very brief in what he says and waves away "it's not allergies", writing me a prescription for some new medication. He wants me to take it for 2 weeks and return to him with the results. My new medication begins to actually clear everything up within a couple of days, but my stress is still present and return as the hostile workplace cause them to return. I visit my doctor, as the above so far is still unknown to me as being the culprit. She asks how I am and sees them gone. She asks what the new medication is, and says that it's not an allergy-blocker, but rather a severe sedation drug (primarily used before surgeries). She asks me to take a few days off and medication-less, and doing so, I take a 4-day weekend. The 2nd day, everything has cleared up, hear rate has dropped, etc. Upon returning to work, it returns again and that same day I visit her. She tells me that she heard back from the allergist and that the cause is stress, which is in turn releasing my own 'allergy' agents, or some type of adrenaline overload which is causing toxicity. She writes me a stress leave for a few months off.
Now, I apologize for the long preface, but I come in to work and bring my supervisor this note from my doctor and explain to him what has happened. I show him the note and he accepts it from me, reads it, and says something like "hmm, well yeah we need you here so I'll file this for the couple days you've taken off recently, but you need to get back to work ASAP". My response is "but she says I need to take time off and that this is stress-related, my own health is at risk". The reply I get is something along the lines of "we're all stress around here, just don't break out in hives anymore and we're all lucky to have a job right now, so just keep calm from now on".
Is this something that is illegal, to be denied a leave with doctor request, and having shown the history of how this workplace as affected me?