FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE ACT (the “FMLA”) Here is the cold hard truth about today’s workplace…
…with the country’s healthcare system in complete disaster, employers are looking for any way to get rid of pregnant, or chronically sick, or otherwise injured employees in their workplace at all costs.
They are doing this by discriminating against, or interfering with, employees who are seeking FMLA protection after a pregnancy, tragedy, illness, or injury requiring time off.
FMLA claims are the fastest growing category of employment discrimination claims in the country.
And, if you qualify (discussed below) for FMLA and your rights are interfered with or are you are discriminated against for engaging your rights, the damages owed to you may be substantial.
HEAR ME SHARE EXACTLY WHY FMLA CASES ARE MY PASSION
Let’s talk about the FMLAs’ basic requirements.
CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF 5 SIMPLE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE ASKING FOR FMLA LEAVE.
What is the FMLA?
The FMLA requires that “covered employers” offer as many as 12 weeks of unpaid leave without jeopardizing the job status of eligible employees for various family and individual medical situations.
These medical situations include pregnancy and care for a newborn, placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care, care for an immediate family member with a “serious health condition,” and the employee’s own “serious health condition.”
The FMLA allows employees to leave temporarily or work a less stressful schedule, depending on the severity of the circumstances.
LISTEN TO LEARN HOW TO DETERMINE IF YOU ARE COVERED BY THE FMLA LAW
Covered Employers and Employees
The FMLA applies to all public agencies, including state, local and federal employers, local education agencies (schools), and private-sector employers who employ 50 or more employees within a 75 mile radius.
But, if you work for the government or its subsidiaries (county offices, etc.) you most likely will not be able to sue your employer under the FMLA based on the doctrine on sovereign immunity.
Employees are eligible for FMLA benefits if they work for a covered employer, have worked for the employer for a total of 12 months, have worked at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months, and work at a location in the United States or in any territory or possession of the United States where at least 50 employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles.
HEAR IN MY OWN WORDS WHY FMLA COVERAGE IS SO IMPORTANT TO YOUR CASE
Reasons to Take Leave Under FMLAThere are a number of qualifying reasons permitting leave under the FMLA.
The most common ones are:
- Caring for the employee’s baby after birth or putting the child up for adoption or foster care.
- Caring for the employee’s spouse, children, or parent with a “serious health condition.”
- Caring for a “serious health condition” that causes the employee’s job performance to decline or be affected.
FMLA Job Benefits & Protection
CLICK HERE FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR’S FACT SHEET ON THE FMLA.
The employer must continue to provide health insurance benefits to the employee under any group health plan for the length of FMLA leave.
Returning employees must have their former positions prior to FMLA leave reinstated, or an equivalent job with the same salary, benefits, and all other original occupational terms.
Any employee who utilizes FMLA cannot lose the right to any employment benefits accrued before the leave.
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Illegal Employer Actions under FMLA
Under FMLA regulations, it is illegal for the employer to:
- Interfere with or refuse any rights available to the employer under FMLA.
(This includes intimidating or harassing the employee for requesting leave, or while out on leave, or even opposing or denying an employee’s request for valid FMLA leave.)
- Fire or discriminate against an employee for opposing any practice deemed unlawful by FMLA or for inclusion in any proceeding relating to FMLA.
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If an employer discriminates or retaliates against an employee for seeking benefits guaranteed under the FMLA, the employee may be eligible for their own lost back wages, liquidated (double damages), front pay or reinstatement, and payment of their attorneys’ fees and costs.
Contact our Davie, Florida Family Medical Leave Act Protection Attorney at Richard Celler, Legal, P.A. for a FREE consultation regarding your discrimination case.
WATCH THE COMPLETE INTERVIEW WITH FMLA ATTORNEY RICHARD CELLER