Dallas Employment Law Attorneys, DuBose Law Firm Stands Ready to Represent Texas Victims of FMLA Violations
When a worker needs to leave a job temporarily because of a chronic health condition, the birth of a child or to take care of a family member with a serious illness, many employers completely understand. Unfortunately, some employers refuse to let their workers take this time off or retaliate against them if they do.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave.
FMLA is designed to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. It also seeks to accommodate the legitimate interests of employers and promote equal employment opportunity for men and women.
FMLA applies to all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees. These employers must provide an eligible employee with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for any of the following reasons:
- For the birth and care of the newborn child of an employee;
- For placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care;
- To care for an immediate family member (i.e., spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or
- To take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.
Employees are eligible for leave if they have worked for their employer at least 12 months, at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles. Whether an employee has worked the minimum 1,250 hours of service is determined according to FLSA principles for determining compensable hours or work. Time taken off work due to pregnancy complications can be counted against the 12 weeks of family and medical leave. Military family leave provisions, first added to the FMLA in 2008, afford FMLA protections specific to the needs of military families.
Determining if and how the FMLA may apply to your specific circumstances can be a complex and confusing process. In general, you may have a case if your employer:
- Allowed you to take time off but terminated you when you returned to work;
- Refused to allow you to take time off to take care of a family member who was seriously ill;
- Demoted or punished you for taking time off work for appointments and treatments related to chronic health conditions;
- Refused to allow time off for the birth of a child;
- Terminated you or threatened to terminate you for taking medical leave; or
- Treated you differently after you asked for or took medical leave.
Employers should follow the law, but unfortunately, that is not always the case. And under the terms of the federal law, employers should not retaliate against you for taking family medical leave under the terms of the FMLA. If you think that your rights may have been violated, contact the DuBose Law Firm for a cost-free case evaluation.