It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). If an employer retaliates or discriminates against a worker for taking approved family or medical leave, then the worker can bring a civil claim against the employer.
To be eligible for benefits under the Family and Medical Leave Act, you have to meet the following requirements:
U.S. employment law has many protections for employees in the workplace. These laws aim to protect an employee from unfair discrimination and unjust treatment, as well as provide some important job-related benefits in the event of a family or medical emergency. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is one of the laws that has significant importance to a great number of employees throughout New York and the United States. As legal definitions of family relationships continue to change, the reach of the FMLA may soon be extended.
When a woman gives birth, she is often given paid time off to rest, recuperate and care for her child. Many women in New York can take paid maternity leave and do so to bond with their children. Unfortunately, there are no laws that force employers to pay for that time off. While the Family and Medical Leave Act does guarantee that women can take up to 12 weeks off following the birth of a child, that time is unpaid.
Although the system is far from perfect, eligible New York employees are protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 when they need to take time off for medical conditions or emergencies. Unfortunately, unlike 178 countries around the world that give employees at least some paid leave, the United States does not. This leaves many workers having to choose between caring for a sick child, for example, and paying the bills. What's worse, sometimes employers unlawfully deny the requests of employees for unpaid time off under FMLA.
Imagine being told that you must return to work the day after you give birth. Though most people in New York can't imagine an employer saying that, there are no requirements for smaller companies and employers to give their employees any paid or unpaid time off for the birth of a child. According to the Family and Medical Leave Act, only employers with 50 or more employees must give their employees unpaid leave under FMLA. And, yes, you read that right, they are only required to provide unpaid leave.
New York is one of 48 states that do not offer a family leave insurance program for workers. Only New Jersey and California offer such a program. There is, of course, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows for qualifying workers to take unpaid leave. But a word to remember here is "unpaid." Not every employee can afford to take unpaid time off from work, even if the serious medical condition of a spouse or a child makes extreme demands on the worker.