What is FMLA?
FMLA stands for the Family and Medical Leave Act. The FMLA was created in 1993 by the United States government to provide employees with job-protected unpaid leave for up to 12 weeks per year. Navigating FMLA laws and regulations can be confusing, making it important to understand your rights under FMLA as an employee, and how you can use FMLA with your employer. Communication with your employer is key to avoiding misunderstandings and complications when you need to take FMLA leave from your job.
Employees that are eligible for FMLA leave are entitled to 12 workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for the following:
To exercise FMLA rights, you must work for an employer that is covered under FMLA. The general rule of thumb is that private employers who employ at least 50 people within 75 miles of your worksite are covered under FMLA. This rule applies to federally-mandated FMLA laws, but an employer with less than 50 employees may be subject to state-level laws and regulations regarding medical leave. It’s important to check with our Ohio FMLA attorneys for the laws and regulations that may apply to you.
In cases where an employee does work for a private employer that employs at least 50 people, to qualify for FMLA leave you must be employed for 12 months and have worked for 1,250 hours in that 12-month period.
To request FMLA leave, you must give your employer sufficient notice. Remember, communication is key to avoiding misunderstandings regarding FMLA leave and when or how you can use it. If you are pregnant or have a scheduled surgery, informing your employer at least 30 days beforehand is sufficient time for your request. Sometimes an emergency arises, in those instances you must inform your employer that you need FMLA to take care of a parent, child, or spouse as soon as you can, you must also follow the employer’s call-in and time off procedures.
Why You Need a FMLA Attorney
The Family and Medical Leave Act was designed to protect employee rights to their job when experiencing medical stress for themselves or a family member. It is prohibited under the FMLA for employers to fire or discriminate against employees for taking approved FMLA leave or interfering with or rejecting the employee’s right to exercise FMLA. While the employee is on an extended leave, if they follow procedure and do not use more time than allotted under FMLA, they have the right to return to their job without discrimination, retaliation or demotion.
If you have taken FMLA leave and your employer terminated you, discriminated against you, or retaliated against you and your job was negatively affected, then contact a FMLA lawyer in to review your case and assist you in filing charges against your employer. The nuances of FMLA can be difficult to navigate, making it important to have a skilled and experienced attorney on your side to help you.
Contact a FMLA Attorney
If you believe that your employer has breached FMLA laws and retaliated against you or discriminated against you for requesting and/or taking FMLA leave, contact Barkan Meizlish, LLP for a free consultation. Our team of legal experts can help you determine your options when your rights under FMLA have been violated by an employer. We are ready to provide legal counsel for your next steps. Gathering evidence and documentation are an important part in filing a FMLA claim. It is imperative that you don’t miss any crucial evidence that would help your case.
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