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Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Claims

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that protects an employee's job while they are on medical leave. It allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period for specific medical reasons, including the birth or adoption of a child, caring for a family member with a serious health condition, or their own serious health condition.

FMLA Violations and Employee Rights


Employers may sometimes unwittingly (or knowingly) engage in FMLA violations; these can include:

  • Refusing to grant an employee's request for FMLA leave without proper justification

  • Demanding excessive documentation for taking leave

  • Making threats or negative comments about an employee taking FMLA leave

  • Denying job protection or retaliating against an employee for taking FMLA leave

  • Failing to reinstate the employee to their previous position or an equivalent upon return from FMLA leave without a valid reason


In case of any violation, employees have the right to file a complaint with the US Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division. Employers found guilty of violating the FMLA may be subject to penalties, such as fines or payment of damages.


How to Apply for an FMLA Leave


To apply for FMLA, an employee must first notify their employer of the need for leave. This notification should be made at least 30 days in advance if possible, or as soon as reasonably practical in case of unforeseen circumstances. The employer may require the employee to provide medical certification from a healthcare provider supporting their need for leave.


Once the notification and medical certification have been submitted, the employer must provide the employee with a Notice of Eligibility and Rights and Responsibilities within five business days. This notice outlines the employee's eligibility for FMLA leave, their rights and responsibilities under the law, and any specific documentation or requirements needed to support their request.


If approved, the employer must also provide a Designation Notice stating the amount of leave granted and any conditions or expectations upon the employee's return. This notice must be given to the employee within five business days of the employer's decision.


Retaliation Protections


Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees for taking FMLA leave or exercising their rights under the law. This includes firing, demoting, or otherwise discriminating against an employee who takes FMLA leave.


Should an employer retaliate against an employee for taking FMLA leave, the employee is entitled to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor or file a lawsuit to enforce their rights.


If you are facing an FMLA issue, feel free to call, email, or contact us, to discuss. We will be happy to evaluate your situation, free of any charge.

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