Employees covered by the Family Medical Leave Act have the right to take leave for certain reasons and without the fear of losing their job. This leave is critical to people who must take time away from work to deal with a medical issue, help a sick loved one or welcome a new child into the family.
In most cases, employers will respect the protections granted by the FMLA, but there are situations in which an employer fails to comply with the law. This can lead to one of the following violations of FMLA:
- Failure to inform employees about their rights: Federal laws require employers to notify employees of the details and protections of FMLA. Employers must post notification in the workplace and in other employee materials that explain job benefits.
- Wrongfully denied leave: An employer might try to deny leave requests because it would be inconvenient, but the fact is that if an eligible employee files the request properly and has a covered condition, employers should approve the request.
- Failure to secure employee's job: The FMLA dictates that a worker on this type of leave will be allowed to return to his or her same job or a nearly identical job. This also means returning to the same schedule, same job responsibilities, same pay and identical benefits.
- Retaliation: Employers who penalize a worker for taking leave are in violation of federal laws. Penalties can include any negative action such as relocation, harassment, demotion and termination.
If you believe you have been the victim of one of the above-mentioned FMLA violations, you may very well have grounds to take legal action. Consulting an attorney can be a crucial first step in protecting your job and your rights as an employee.