Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

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Dedicated Employment Lawyers Helping Employees with Family and Medical Leave Act Claims for Over 24 Years

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides employees with peace of mind that their jobs would be waiting for them if they had to take time off to deal with a spouse, parent, or child’s illness or injury. FMLA can also help provide unpaid maternity leave for pregnancy, childbirth, and adoption.

The FMLA helps employees feel confident to take needed time off to deal with family health issues. However, many employers try to prohibit employees from using this benefit. They do not inform employees it exists. Sometimes, they tell employees they cannot operate properly while providing the proper leave to their employees.

Many times, employees are afraid to request FMLA or complain when it is denied. They fear retaliation from their employer. Maybe the employer will fire them when they are on leave. Maybe they will get offered a demotion with a pay decrease. The FMLA prohibits all forms of employment retaliation, such as wrongful termination and demotions,

If you work for a company and qualify for FMLA leave, your employer should make accommodations when possible to allow you the leave. If he does not, you deserve to get justice. As you work towards justice and compensation, you deserve a lawyer who knows all the Family and Medical Leave Act rules. Your lawyer should advocate for your rights and the accommodations you need.

What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?

The Family and Medical Leave Act is a federal employment law that provides job protection for employees when they need to take time off from work for an illness or injury for themselves or a spouse, child, or parent. The time off is unpaid. The qualifying employer is obligated to allow qualified employees to take up to 12 weeks in a 12-month period off from work.

In the meantime, your employer must hold your job or a comparable job for your return.

To be eligible for FMLA, an employee must:

  • Be employed with a company with 50 or more employees within 75 miles of their location.
  • Have worked for the company for at least 12 months before the date of the intended leave.
  • Have worked at least 156 days or 1,250 hours before the date of the intended leave.

In turn, employers must provide the following to qualified employees:

  • Up to 12 weeks in a 12-month period of unpaid leave or 26 weeks for those caring for a parent, spouse or child that is a member of the armed services or when a family member who is a member of the armed services is deployed.
  • Job security in which the employee cannot be terminated while on leave.
  • Group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions while on leave.
  • The same pay when the employee returns from leave. The employer can change the employee’s job to a comparable job with the same salary but cannot demote an employee while on leave. They also cannot move the employee to a position for which he is not trained or qualified.

Your employer must make you aware of the FMLA. They must provide information regarding its benefits to eligible employees.

If your employer does not make you aware of your rights or accommodate you as needed, you should contact an employment lawyer to help you fight for justice.

What Is Covered Under the Family and Medical Leave Act?

You can use FMLA for a variety of issues that may occur. However, the law only allows you time off to care for certain family members. Family members covered under the FMLA include your spouse, your child, or your parents.

You can also use it for your own healthcare, including pregnancy, maternity or paternity leave, and caring for a newborn or adopted child.

Issues covered under FMLA may include, but are not limited to:

  • Pregnancy complications
  • Childbirth
  • Bonding with a newborn or adopted child
  • Taking your parent to cancer treatments
  • Helping your spouse as he recovers from heart surgery
  • Taking care of your child who broke his leg
  • Getting a parent to weekly rehab appointments after she suffered a stroke
  • Taking time off to help a spouse who is in hospice care
  • Bonding with a new foster child who has entered your home

When Can Your Employer Deny Your FMLA Leave?

Under certain circumstances, an employer may deny FMLA leave to employees. An employer may claim letting you take FMLA leave can cause an undue hardship. An undue hardship means giving you the time off under FMLA will cause severe difficulty or incur a large expense.

For instance, if you work for a company where you are the only person who does your job, it may cause a severe expense to provide you FMLA leave.

In these circumstances, you and your employer can discuss a reasonable accommodation to give you the needed time to care for your family member and help the company function without you.

Contact an experienced FMLA lawyer if your employer denies you reasonable accommodations and refuses to find alternatives to FMLA leave.

Does the Family and Medical Leave Act Provide Paid Time Off from Work?

While the FMLA provides job security, it does not provide paid time off from work. If you are eligible to use it, the time you take is unpaid.

You may have supplemental insurance policies that will pay you if you are out of work for any reason. Some states offer a family leave insurance policy that may cover you even if you need to care for yourself. These policies may pay you while you are out of work. Many of the state laws apply to companies with one or more employees. Some even include financial deductions from your paycheck to fund the program.

Your employer is responsible to inform you of all federal and state options available for you concerning family leave.

If your employer did not inform you of all your options, you can consult an attorney who can answer your FMLA questions and concerns. The dedicated Family and Medical Leave attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group can guide you toward the right path for your case.

How Will a Family and Medical Leave Act Lawyer Help Your Case?

When your employer ignores your needs for a family and medical leave, you are often left anxious, concerned, and dumbfounded. Your family needs you. Yet, your employer refuses to provide you your legally available right to take that time and care for them.

Your dedicated FMLA lawyer can be an objective party that can help you fight for justice without the emotional involvement you rightfully hold. They can help you present your case in a way that the judge and jury can sympathize with your claim. However, they can also ensure your claim hits all the necessary legal points, is filed on time, and presents a strong argument for the injustices you faced at your employer’s hands.

A dedicated employment lawyer will help you file your claim in the appropriate court. They will prepare you for any depositions and testimony you may provide during the case. Your lawyer will negotiate with your employer to attempt to reach a fair and equitable settlement as quickly as possible. Finally, your FMLA lawyer will stand by your side and vigorously advocate for your rights to prove your case.

Contact Our Experienced Family and Medical Leave Act Lawyers for Your Free Consultation

When dealing with a major illness or injury of a loved one, the last thing you need to worry about is whether you can take time away from your job. Your family needs you.

If you are the victim of Family and Medical Leave Act violations, the experienced Family and Medical Leave Act lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group can help.

Do you have questions about your rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act? Please call us at 800.807.2209 or email derek@dereksmithlaw.com with your questions. You can fill out our online form here as well.