When a family member becomes ill, the consequences are not just devastating to that person but can often affect the entire family. That will require spouses, children, brothers and sisters, all parties to assist an ailing family member. Often time the amount of leave time needed is extensive and employers balk at employees taking such extensive time.
However, recognizing this problem the United States Congress passed The Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) in 1993. This law entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. This site provides general information about which employers are covered by the FMLA, when employees are eligible and entitled to take FMLA leave.
The FMLA only applies to employers that meet certain criteria. A covered employer is a:
- Private-sector employer, with 50 or more employees in 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year, including a joint employer or successor in interest to a covered employer;
- Public agency, including a local, state, or Federal government agency, regardless of the number of employees it employs; or
- Public or private elementary or secondary school, regardless of the number of employees it employs.
Only eligible employees are entitled to take FMLA leave. An eligible employee is one who:
- Works for a covered employer;
- Has worked for the employer for at least 12 months;
- Has at least 1,250 hours of service for the employer during the 12-month period immediately preceding the leave; and
- Works at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles.
Eligible employees may take up to 12 workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:
- The birth of a son or daughter or placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care;
- To care for a spouse, son, daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition;
- For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job; or
- For any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a military member on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status. *
It is unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of or the attempt to exercise any right provided by the FMLA. It is also unlawful for an employer to discharge or discriminate against any individual for opposing any practice, or because of involvement in any proceeding, related to the FMLA
If you feel you have been wrongfully denied FMLA leave, do not hesitate. Many companies have teams of lawyers looking out for their interests, you need the experienced and dedicated team of paralegals, attorneys, and investigators, to assist you here at Sudduth & Associates. Remember that the sooner you get a lawyer involved on your behalf the better your chances of a positive outcome. Contact us today! 337-480-0101.
*Portions above cited from the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division Fact Sheet #28 Family Medical Leave Act.