Family & Medical Leave Law
Sometimes illness, severe injury, or accidents will happen. This is never a happy time, and if it strikes someone in your family whom you love – like a spouse, a parent, or a child, you need to understand what your legal rights are. These are going to be hard times working through those situations but the good news is that individuals in these situations do have legally protected rights that cover their employment while taking care of family members when they need them most. In many cases this even applies job protection to at will employees.
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The Federal FMLA Law
The federal FMLA law is an important one when it comes to taking time off due to medical issues of yourself or family. This is a federally passed law that protects some employee rights to medical leave when certain circumstances are met. Under this act, an eligible employee is entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period so long as they have been employed for at least twelve continuous months prior to the leave. During this leave, that employee’s job is protected under law – the same or a similar position with the same pay and benefits after their absence as they had prior to their absence.
The FMLA is federal law meaning it is in play in all states. However, there are only certain conditions for which an individual’s case can potentially qualify for FMLA leave
What Are Some FMLA Conditions?
Only certain conditions qualify for leave under the FMLA. The following conditions qualify under the FMLA for an employee to take leave if the other requirements are met:
- The birth of a child & bonding time post-birth
- Bonding time with foster care or adoption placement
- Serious medical condition of the employee his/herself
- Serious medical conditions affecting an employee’s child, spouse, or parent
- Military family leave or deployment
The FMLA time can be taken all at once or it can be split up into intermittent chunks of time that are spread out over the calendar year. It is important to note that the employee is given job protection for unpaid time off. The employer is not obligated in any way to provide pay or back pay for that missed time at work.
FMLA Interference & Violations
Two ways that an employer can get in trouble for violating employees’ FMLA -based rights are through “interference” or “retaliation.” To be clear, it is unlawful for any employer to take actions that deny, interfere with, or violate protections that are explicitly granted to employees through the FMLA. In the event that this happens, when a company tries to deny or minimize an employee’s rights or punish them for exercising them, then it’s definitely time to get an attorney involved to protect those rights.
There are a variety of ways these actions can take place, but it comes down to any work or action that takes away FMLA rights from employees, punishes them for exercising those rights, or taking actions to interfere, prevent, or delay their lawful unpaid time off. If any of this is taken place, the employee needs to get an attorney.
Need An FMLA Attorney? Call Today!
Matt Scott is a skilled and experienced attorney that understands what it takes to fight for your rights in the courtroom to get you the results that you deserve. If you are an employee who feels that you have an FMLA case, contact Scott Law Firm today for a consultation on your case.