Under the Family Medical Leave Act (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. This applies, of course, to large employers including in the New York City and New Jersey areas.
Examples of qualifying reasons for taking leave are:
Personal serious illness;
A 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 FMLA leave, you can seek legal recourse.
If you qualify for FMLA benefits and are being denied them, you have the right to take action against your employer.
Questions and Answers:
FMLA provides eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year, and requires employers to maintain health benefits during the leave. Also, employees are entitled to return to their same or an equivalent job following their FMLA leave.
No! It is against the law for your employer to deny you FMLA leave, as long as you (i) file a proper request, (ii) work for a covered employer, and (iii) are eligible for FMLA. Covered employers include all public agencies and private sector employers with 50 or more employees. You are eligible for FMLA if you (i) worked at least 1,250 hours during the year prior to requesting leave, (ii) work at a location where your employer has 50 or more employees within 75 miles, and (iii) worked for your employer for at least a year.
Yes! If you believe that you have been unlawfully denied FMLA leave, you can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) or take other legal action, such as filing a lawsuit. The DOL will investigate your claim and attempt to negotiate with your employer. If this is not successful, the DOL can also file a lawsuit against your employer.
If you believe that you have been unlawfully denied FMLA leave, you can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor or file a lawsuit against your employer. You can file a lawsuit in state or federal court within two years of the FMLA violation. In some cases, you can file a lawsuit within three years of the violation. If you do decide to sue your employer, you should seek legal assistance from an experienced FMLA attorney.
There are several forms of FMLA violations. Some common examples include receiving a pay cut or demotion after taking or requesting FMLA leave. In other instances, some employers might permanently take away certain clients or accounts from employees who have taken or requested FMLA leave. It is also unlawful for employers to increase an employee’s workload upon taking or requesting FMLA leave. Lastly, one of the most severe violations of the FMLA is termination. If you have been terminated after taking or requesting FMLA leave, you should seek legal advice from an experienced FMLA attorney.
You might be uneasy about sharing the reason for taking FMLA leave with your employer. This is totally understandable. Unfortunately, in many instances, you must disclose the reason you are taking time off in order to determine your eligibility for FMLA leave.
FMLA retaliation is any adverse action taken against you in response to requesting or taking FMLA leave. This can include a demotion, a loss of hours, or other negative actions that would discourage an employee from requesting or taking FMLA leave.
Violations and Medical Conditions
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 anti-discrimination 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.