Lancaster FMLA Attorney
In 1993, Congress passed the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which was designed to help employees balance their family responsibilities and their work by permitting them to take unpaid leave for certain medical and family reasons. Although employers who have 15 or more employees are required to comply with this federal law, a surprising number fail to do so. Fortunately, companies that fail to abide by these rules can be held accountable and required to compensate the wronged parties by providing them with back pay, insurance benefits, and out-of-pocket costs. These types of claims are often difficult to file, so if you were unfairly denied leave, you should consider contacting an experienced Lancaster FMLA attorney.
Which Employers are Covered by the FMLA?
The FMLA only applies to specific employers, namely those that fall under one of the following categories:
- A private-sector employer with 50 or more employees;
- A public agency, including local, state, or federal government agencies, regardless of the number of employees that work there; or
- A public or private elementary or secondary school.
Qualifying employers are required to provide their employees with at least three months of leave. However, to be eligible for this benefit, employees must meet specific eligibility requirements.
Which Employees are Eligible for FMLA Leave?
Even if an employer is required to provide employees with FMLA leave, an employee can only take advantage of this benefit if he or she:
- Has been employed for at least 12 months;
- Has worked for the employer for at least 1,250 hours in the preceding 12 months; and
- Works at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees.
Fortunately, the 12 months of employment that are required for leave do not have to be consecutive, so an employee can use any time that he or she previously worked for a particular employer to satisfy this requirement. The only exception to this rule is when the employee had a break in service that lasted for at least seven years, unless:
- The break was due to service in the military; or
- A written agreement outlines the employer’s intention to rehire the employee after the break.
Employees who fulfill these elements are guaranteed up to 12 workweeks of leave over a one-year period. However, this is only true if the leave is requested for one of the following reasons:
- The birth of or recent adoption of a child;
- To care for a spouse, child, or parent suffering from a serious health problem;
- The employee is suffering from a serious health condition that makes him or her unable to perform the essential functions of the job; or
- A qualifying exigency has arisen because a spouse, child, or parent is a member of the military on active duty.
In some cases, leave can be extended beyond the 12-week limitation, but only if the reason for the leave is care for a service member suffering from a serious injury.
Contact Our Legal Team Today
If you were unfairly denied leave, you need the advice of an experienced attorney. Please call Marshall & Forman, LLC at (614) 463-9790 to speak with a Lancaster FMLA attorney about your legal rights and options.