FMLA violations in Philadelphia occur when an employer refuses the opportunity to an employee to take federally offered leave to care for themselves or a close family member in a time of medical need. FMLA is designed to help people dealing with health situations as covered under the ADA as they relate to themselves or parents, children, or spouses. Refusing this leave is not only a violation of federal law; it is a form of disability discrimination that should never be tolerated. For over 25 years, the experienced attorneys at The Derek Smith Law Group have worked with victims of FMLA violations to get the justice they deserve.
The FMLA was enacted in 1993 to help employees maintain job security and group health insurance while they attended to their own health issues or the health issues of their parents, children, or spouses. It is also known as disability leave and even pregnancy leave, since most states do not have any mandatory maternity or paternity leave. While the FML does not promise you will receive a paycheck, your employer is legally required to hold your job or a comparable position for you for when you return and that you will maintain your group health insurance throughout your leave.
Under the FMLA, any employee employed for 12 months or more for a firm with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius of the company is allowed 12 weeks leave, either together or staggered throughout the course of the year, within that one-year period. The leave must be used to care for the employee’s medical treatment and/or recovery, a child’s medical care, the birth of a newborn baby, bonding with a newly adopted or fostered child, the medical care of a parent, or the medical care of a spouse. Denying medical leave for these purposes, terminating or demoting a person on approved medical leave, or denying group benefits to the person while on leave are violations of the FMLA and are illegal.
An employee suffering from an illness that requires treatment and recovery is protected under the ADA. However, the FMLA goes one step further and gives this employee the ability to take a disability leave. Additionally, the US is one of the few developed nations that does not offer some type of maternity or paternity leave. The FMLA can act as a chance for a pregnant woman to take the leave she needs before and after the baby is born to help her heal and bond with the baby. Blocking this leave or retaliating against the employee for taking this leave is a form of disability discrimination or pregnancy discrimination that is illegal and should never be tolerated in the workplace. Here are some examples of FMLA violations in Philadelphia:
- Refusing leave to an employee with cancer who need radiation
- Terminating an employee who is taking 3 weeks of FMLA to care for his son who broke his arm
- Demoting an executive to an executive assistant while she is using FMLA to bond with her newly adopted child
- Refusing to provide a man with information to maintain his group insurance while he takes FMLA to bond with his newly adopted daughter
- Refusing to allow a son to take FMLA to care for his parents who are ill
- Not making an employee aware they are entitled to the laws listed under the FMLA and what they imply
In Philadelphia, the federal FMLA standards apply when discussing a statute of limitation to file a lawsuit for interfering with or retaliating against an employee for taking their entitled leave when needed. The federal law provides a time limit of 2 years to file a lawsuit for FMLA violations.
As with most discrimination cases, the remedies available through the courts for FMLA violations are meant to help compensate the victim for being denied his or her rights under the law. Such remedies include:
- Reinstatement of employment and/or benefits
- Back pay for pay missed while unlawful terminated
- Reimbursement of benefit premiums not paid by the employer while unlawfully terminated
- Attorney’s fees
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Reimbursement for related medical and other expenses
- Punitive damages
FMLA lawsuits in Philadelphia can take anywhere from 4 to 6 months to a year o longer, depending on the circumstances of the case. If your employer is willing to negotiate a fair settlement with you prior to trial, the process may only last 4 to 6 months. However, if your employer refuses to properly negotiate in good faith, you will likely head to trial. Preparing for trial may take 8 months to a year to gather evidence and conduct witness interviews and depositions. Once you get to the trial date, you may spend another few days to several weeks or longer in court until a judgment is issued.
As you decide whether to bring a lawsuit against your employer for FMLA violations, here are a few things you can do to help the process along.
- Contact an experienced FMLA violations attorney immediately.
- Gather evidence to help your case. Make sure to document everything, including the lack of information regarding FMLA available in your workplace.
- Do not waster time. The law sets a time limit of only 2 years to file an FMLA violation lawsuit. Act quickly so time stays on your side.
Dealing with illness and injury, whether it’s your own, your child, your spouse, or your parent is traumatizing enough. The last thing you need to worry about is whether you have a job to go back to and whether you have insurance to help pay for the medical expenses acquired. If you are a victim of FMLA violations in Philadelphia, the experienced attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group can help. Contact us today at (215) 391-4790 for a free consultation. We do not accept any money until you win your case.