If you have suffered employer retaliation for taking or requesting unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for a disability, pregnancy, pregnancy-related medical condition, or serious medical condition, you are not alone. Employers retaliate against employees for taking FMLA leave with alarming frequency. This is particularly unfortunate because at some point, nearly every employed adult will fall into the protected category of needing unpaid leave (even if only for a doctors’ visit) for an FMLA-qualifying reason.
FMLA-Qualifying Reasons for Taking Leave
Under the FMLA, you are entitled to twelve weeks of unpaid leave and the right to return to a similar position in terms of pay, benefits, and working conditions. Examples of qualifying reasons for FMLA taking leave are:
- Personal serious illness;
- Seriously ill or disabled family member who needs your care;
- Birth of a new baby, including adoption and foster placement;
- Intermittent doctor’s visits, injections, dialysis, or other care for chronic or serious illness.
If your employer fires or penalizes you in any way, (including denying a bonus, passing you over for promotion, or downgrading your performance review), for requesting or taking your legal right to FMLA leave you can seek legal recourse. Learn more…
Medical Conditions and FMLA Violations
You may also have a claim for disability discrimination if you have a medical condition and your employer fires you, or fails to provide you with medical leave or other accommodations. In fact, unlike the FMLA, virtually any medical condition, including minor conditions — sprains, breaks, and even the common cold — are covered medical conditions under antidiscrimination laws. Discriminating or retaliating against an individual with a protected medical condition is illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and New York State and New York City laws offer even stronger protections for workers with medical conditions.
Many companies resent employees who exercise their right to unpaid leave under the FMLA, despite policies to the contrary. Unpaid leave, while a necessity, causes business disruption that angers managers. Frequently, that anger is taken out on the employee, leaving you retaliated against or worse, jobless. If you think you may be the victim of a FMLA violation, contact us right away.