The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) provides employees with the opportunity to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off per year for family or medical reasons. FMLA does not apply to all employers. It applies, specifically, to private employers with 50+ employees and government employers (federal, state, and local).
Employees have to earn their eligibility for FMLA leave. To do this, employees must (1) work for their employer a minimum of 12 months, (2) work 1,250+ hours during the 12 months prior to leave, and (3) work someplace where their employer employs 50+ employees within 75 miles.
The following are examples of instances where employees may take FMLA leave:
1) Medical Leave – taking time to attend to a medical condition that prevents an employee from performing his/her job;
2) Family-Care Leave – taking time to attend the medical needs of a close family member;
3) New Child Leave – taking time to care for a newborn child, recently adopted child, or recently placed foster child;
4) Military Leave – taking time to attend to an emergency caused by a close family member’s service in the military.
An employer may have violated FMLA if it has done any of the following:
1) Refused FMLA leave to an employee;
2) Required an employee to reduce his/her leave time to work light duty;
3) Placed an employee in a different position that is not equivalent to the position he/she had prior to leave;
4) Deprived an employee of a benefit because of the employee’s FMLA leave;
5) Made threats to, or tried to intimidate, an employee to discourage the employee from using FMLA leave.
6) Denied an employee a promotion because the employee took FMLA leave;
7) Terminated or demoted the employee because the employee took FMLA leave;
8) Disciplined an employee for pointing out FMLA violations to the employer;
9) Denied an employee any right given under a Department of Labor regulation – including FMLA.
FMLA complaints can be filed with the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor. Employees can also sue their employers in court to remedy FMLA violations.
Our New Jersey and New York employment discrimination lawyers can help you identify whether your employer has violated FMLA. If you believe you have been the victim of an FMLA violation, please call us at (973) 509-8500 for a free phone consultation.