FMLA Litigations Rise – Know the Facts to Protect Yourself

When faced with a serious illness, such as a cancer diagnosis, anyone can need a lot of time off. Doctor’s appointments, chemotherapy visits, and even recovery days can add up quickly. Pregnancy or childbirth can also cause workers to miss substantial amounts of work, either to care for themselves or their new children. Unfortunately, at many companies, standard sick leave policies are not enough to protect them.

For more than 20 years, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has been the law of the land protecting employees who need to use leave to manage an illness or care for a family member. From the employees’ perspective, it can be critical to be able to take off time for illness or injury without worrying that their jobs are in jeopardy. Employers however, may be concerned that the law may be abused by employees, causing costly losses in productivity.

Over the past three years, the number of FMLA lawsuits have been increasing. These lawsuits are for claims related to anything from interference with FMLA leave and retaliation for using FMLA leave to technical issues such as an employer’s failure to provide required notices. Since the law only applies to employers with 50 or more employees, employers subject to FMLA should be large enough to have a human resources professional to ensure that the company follows all necessary rules and regulations.

In an effort to try to minimize lawsuits, your company must know:

– employer’s obligations to provide notices and respond to FLMA requests,
– required timelines for responses to an FMLA request,
– types of leave available under FMLA,
– benefits required to be provided to employees on FMLA leave,
– types of treatment not eligible for FMLA, and
– the type of proof required by the employee claiming leave.

Employers should make FMLA information readily available to all supervisors. Since the law requires certain timeframes be followed in terms of approving or denying leave, it is critical that all managers who receive leave requests know how to handle them.

Contact Employment Attorneys in NJ

FMLA is a complex and technical law. If you are facing an FMLA lawsuit or are concerned that your company’s policies are not in compliance with the law, you should contact an attorney right away. The law firm of John J. Zidziunas & Associates has a team of employment attorneys in NJ available to help. For further information, call 973-509-8500, email, or visit