Retaliation for taking family medical leave act (fMLA) leave

Retaliation for taking family medical leave act (fmla) leave

Retaliation for Taking Family Medical LeaveThe Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year.  It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave.

FMLA is designed to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons.  It also seeks to accommodate the legitimate interests of employers and promote equal employment opportunities for men and women.  

FMLA applies to all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees.  These employers must provide an eligible employee with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for any of the following reasons:

-For the birth and care of the newborn child of an employee

-For placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care

-To care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition

-To take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition

Employees are eligible for leave if they have worked for their employer at least 12 months, at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles.  Whether an employee has worked the minimum 1,250 hours of service is determined according to FLSA principles for determining compensable hours or work.

Time taken off work due to pregnancy complications can be counted against the 12 weeks of family and medical leave.  Special rules apply to employees of local education agencies.

Signs Your Employer Is Violating Your FMLA Rights

Unfortunately, not all employers respect FMLA laws. They may try to get away with not giving their employees the paid leave they’re entitled to. Here are several signs your employer may be violating your FMLA rights.

  • Your Employer Is Demanding an Undue Amount of Notice: FMLA states that you have to give your employer 30 days notice if you experience something unforeseeable. However, some employers don’t follow this and demand that their workers give more notice than the law allows. If this happens to you, seek legal counsel.
  • Your Employer Disciplined You After You Requested FMLA Leave: It’s perfectly within your right to take an FMLA leave. If your employer disciplined you after you requested leave, know that it’s unlawful and you don’t have to stand for that type of treatment. For example, your employer may have demoted you or even fired you.
  • Your Employer Has Delayed Your Leave: Employers may not like it when workers request a medical leave during the company’s busy time. Some may go as far as delaying their leave until it suits them. They don’t have a legal right to do this. For instance, if your doctor has advised you to undergo a necessary surgery within the next week, your employer has no right to delay your leave.
  • Your Employer Wants You to Work While on Leave: Sometimes employers may ask employees to work from home while they’re on medical leave. This isn’t appropriate because employees are dealing with a chronic health issue or taking care of someone who is ill. They won’t have the energy or time to do work tasks. In these situations, employees risk getting terminated for poor performance while on leave.
  • Your Employer Doesn’t Return You to Your Previous Job: If you take a medical leave, your employer must allow you to return to your same position. They also have to provide you the same benefits and pay as before. If your employer has given you a lower position or reduced your pay when you get back, you should speak to a lawyer.
  • Your Employer Has Denied Your Leave: Sometimes employers deny their workers’ leave altogether. If you have a perfectly reasonable reason to take a medical leave, it is unjust for your employer to do this and you should talk to a lawyer about your options.



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