The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that permits eligible employees to take unpaid leave for family and medical reasons. Employees may take twelve weeks off of work in a 12-month period in order to deal with a variety of circumstances, such as childbirth, a medical condition, or to care for a family member with a serious illness.
Recently, over 20% of eligible employees exercised their right to take a leave under the FMLA. Taking a leave can be crucial for employees who are facing serious medical conditions or have to care for family members who are seriously ill.
If you are an eligible employee and your employer takes action against you for taking FMLA leave, then you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover your damages. The Family Medical Leave Act attorneys at the Akin Law Group are passionate about protecting the rights of employees who have to take an FMLA leave in order to deal with serious medical issues. If you suspect that your FMLA rights have been violated, call us immediately at 646-817-8084 to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights and options.
What are some of the Valid Reasons to take FMLA Leave?
The FMLA allows eligible employees to take:
Who is covered by the FMLA?
The FMLA only applies to employers that meet certain criteria. A covered employer is a:
Does the FMLA leave apply to my company?
The FMLA only applies to certain businesses / employers. In order to be covered under the Act, the employer must be one of the following:
Am I eligible to take FMLA leave?
The FMLA does not apply to all employees. To be eligible to take FMLA leave it must be that the employee:
If you are an eligible employee and have been denied rights pursuant to the FMLA, or if you have been terminated for taking leave, you should immediately contact one of the employment lawyers at Akin Law Group to discuss your claim in greater detail.
Health benefits under the FMLA
Employers must continue to provide group health insurance coverage for the employees that take FMLA leave. This coverage must be under the same terms and conditions as if the individual had not taken a leave. Some employers have insurance plans that also provide coverage for the employees’ family members; in this event the employer must continue to provide insurance coverage for the employee’s family members. However, during the time that the employee is taking FMLA leave, he/she must continue to make the same amount of contributions to the cost of insurance premiums that he/she paid while working.
Can my employer change my position for taking FMLA leave?
Employees that return from FMLA leave are entitled to restoration to their former position, or to an equivalent position with the same terms and conditions, including the same compensation and benefits. An employer that places an employee returning from FMLA leave into a less advantageous position is in violation of the law.
Are same-sex couples covered under the FMLA?
On March 27th, 2015, the definition of “spouse” under the FMLA was changed to include employees in legal same-sex marriages. The FMLA applies to same-sex married couples regardless of the state in which they now reside and regardless of whether the state recognizes the marriage. That means that if a couple married in a state where same-sex marriage was recognized subsequently moves into a state where it is not recognized, they will still be covered by the FMLA act. If you are in a same-sex marriage and your employer denies you the rights you deserve pursuant to the FMLA, you should contact one of the employment attorneys at the Akin Law Group as soon as possible.
New York State Family and Medical Leave Laws
Employees in New York State are protected by both FMLA laws and a number of state laws. If you are a New York State employee, you are guaranteed additional benefits by the local laws, such as:
If you believe your employer violated your right to take family or medical leave under New York State law, you should contact one of the employment lawyers at the Akin Law Group where the employment attorneys have extensive knowledge of city, state, and federal aspects of employment law, and are prepared to defend your rights.
Am I entitled to Paid sick leave?
Federal laws do not provide workers with paid sick days. New York City law, on the other hand, guarantees individuals who work for employers with 5 or more employees up to 5 paid sick days per year. The law applies to domestic workers, such as housekeepers and babysitters, as well as to individuals who work for employers that are based outside of New York City. At the end of each calendar year, up to 40 hours of unused sick leave may be carried over to the following year although the employer may, instead, chose to pay the employee for the unused sick leave instead of allowing it to be carried over to the following year.
Can my employer refuse to grant me FMLA leave?
It is illegal for employers to prevent eligible employees from exercising their FMLA rights. Covered employees may not:
Employers are prohibited from retaliating and discriminating against employees because they:
The employment attorneys at Akin Law Group are ready to protect your FMLA rights
If your employer refused to allow you to take FMLA leave or took adverse employment actions against you (terminated you or placed you in a less desirable position or less desirable schedule) for taking FMLA lease, you should contact an FMLA attorney right away. The employment lawyers at Akin Law Group are highly experienced in matters of employment law such as the FMLA, employment discrimination, sexual harassment etc., and are ready to help you obtain the maximum amount to which you are entitled. Call the Akin Law Group at 646-817-8084 as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation with an experienced employment attorney.