FMLA should protect workers, but employers may violate rights

Many New York workers take advantage of the Family and Medical Leave Act, which provides eligible individuals with extended leave from their jobs. The law allows workers to take up to several weeks away from work without facing risk of losing their jobs for qualifying situations relating to a personal medical condition or one suffered by an immediate family member . However, some employers may violate FMLA regulations and punish workers for taking leave.

It was recently reported that a worker in another state has taken legal action against his former employer for such violations. The man apparently took 12 weeks away from work and indicated that his time away was approved under FMLA standards. The reason for his leave was not detailed in the report.

The man claims that after he returned to his job, he faced harassment from his manager and that the manager retaliated against him for taking the leave. The man was later dismissed from his position, which he believes was further retaliation. As a result, the man has filed a legal claim against the company for interfering with his rights under the FMLA.

The FMLA can often help individuals attend to serious medical issues without fearing that they will end up unemployed. However, as this case shows, some individuals could still be at risk of losing their jobs if their employers do not follow the law. If New York workers have been terminated from their positions, denied qualifying leave or faced other violations of their rights, they may wish to explore their own legal options for addressing these situations.

Source:, “SRS Distribution Inc. accused of violating the Family and Medical Leave Act”, Louie Torres, March 23, 2018

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