Your Rights Under The Family And Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act provides numerous employment protections for employees who need to miss work for family or medical reasons. In addition to the most familiar protection, discussed in an earlier blog post, the FMLA can be used by employees to take time off for serious medical conditions, both mental and physical, that affect you or a family member.

Employers are forbidden to deny legitimate requests for time off from work under the Family and Medical Leave Act. They are also forbidden to retaliate against employees who request or take time off.  Illegal retaliatory conduct can include:

  • Demotions
  • Refusing to keep your job open for you when you return to work
  • Firing you
  • Other discipline against you, such as a demotion
  • Any other action affecting the terms and conditions of your employment

The FMLA also requires employers to give you notice of your FMLA rights and assist you in identifying whether an absence may be protected under the FMLA.  In other words, if you are hospitalized and miss work, which is an obvious FMLA situation, your employer must recognize that fact even though you may not have completed all of the necessary FMLA paperwork.

FMLA claims involve a complicated mixture of federal law and United States Department of Labor regulations.  It is essential to review your situation with an attorney if you believe that your FMLA rights have been violated.  Federal law requires that employers pay the attorney fees and litigation expenses of employees who successfully sue for a violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act.   Please contact Erbe Law Firm to schedule a free in-person consultation if you would like to discuss any FMLA issues.


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