In February of 1993, Congress passed the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The act provides certain kinds of protection for employees who need to take time off due to the birth of a child, illness or to care for a sick family member.
FMLA (29 CFR 825)
Under the terms of FMLA, workers who take time off for medical reasons can do so without losing their job. While the Family and Medical Leave Act is federal legislation, not all employers willingly comply with its terms or inform their employees of their rights under it. However, employers can be held financially liable for denying employees their rights under FMLA.
Additionally, if a company fires an employee for exercising his or her FMLA rights, the employer can be held liable for wrongful termination as well. At The Rubin Law Corporation, our Los Angeles FMLA lawyers work to hold employers financially accountable for denying workers their FMLA rights.
The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) guarantees secure medical leave, parental leave and family leave for California employees. If you have been denied leave or wrongly fired, we will stand up for your rights.
What you are entitled to take leave for under FMLA
In general, employees are allowed to take unpaid or partially paid time off for a limited amount of time due to the following:
- Time off for surgery or due to illness
- Time off after the birth or adoption of a new child
- Time off after the placement of a child in foster care
- Time off to care for a sick child, spouse or parent
Protections provided by FMLA
- Employees who leave under FMLA have a right to return to the same job once their leave has ended. If your employer filled your job, you must be provided with one that is similar in nature at comparable pay with the same benefits you had as before.
- Any benefits provided to an employee must also be reinstated once an employee returns to work.
- If you have an eligible medical reason to take leave under FMLA, your employer cannot deny your leave or your benefits.
- An employer cannot fire, retaliate or harass an employee who assets his or her FMLA rights.
FMLA discrimination – when to contact an attorney
Most employers are aware of their obligations under FMLA. As a result, most won’t overtly harass or discriminate against an employee who wants to take FMLA. Typically, supervisors or managers will try and set an employee up for failure so they can justify firing him or her for a “job performance” issue. For example, a pregnant woman or someone with a spouse suffering from multiple sclerosis will be asked to take on extra work. They might be given contradictory instructions or unrealistic deadlines to meet.
When the employee begins to fall behind or misses a deadline, the supervisor or manager will give them a written warning or place them on a “performance improvement plan.” After the employee’s performance falters again, the employer uses it as an excuse to fire him or her. However, a careful review of workloads, timelines, e-mails and other documentation can reveal a pattern and practice of harassment from the employer.
If you believe your employer has violated your rights as prescribed under the Family and Medical Leave Act, contact The Rubin Law Corporation today to schedule an appointment and discuss your case.