Newark FMLA Lawyer
In addition to requiring employers to pay their employees a minimum wage and to compensate them for overtime hours, federal law also gives qualifying employees the right to receive a certain amount of unpaid leave. For instance, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees employees up to 90 days of unpaid leave per year for medical and family-related reasons. While many employers are careful to comply with these rules, a surprising number do not, even going so far as to terminate employees who request leave. Fortunately, employers who do not respect these rights can and should be held accountable for their actions, so if you qualify for, but were denied leave, you should strongly consider speaking with an experienced Newark FMLA lawyer who can explain your legal options.
Who is Protected by the FMLA?
The FMLA guarantees covered employees at least three months of leave. However, these rights are only available to:
- Public or government agencies;
- The school system; or
- Companies with at least 50 employees.
However, even employees who satisfy these requirements cannot take leave unless it is being taken:
- For the birth of or adoption of a child;
- To care for a newborn or adopted child;
- Due to pregnancy-related health complications;
- To care for a child, spouse, or parent who is suffering from a certain type of illness; or
- To recover from a serious medical condition.
In most cases, leave granted under the FMLA is limited to three months, although in certain situations, it can be extended to 26 weeks. However, this is only true when the person taking leave is doing so in order to care for a child, spouse, or parent who is also a service member recovering from an injury.
To take advantage of FMLA leave, employees must also meet certain conditions. For instance, an employee must have worked for his or her employer for at least a year and have worked for at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months. Fortunately, the 12 months of employment does not need to be consecutive for a person to be eligible to take FMLA leave. For this reason, any amount of time that an employee previously worked for an employer will satisfy this requirement. The single exception to this rule applies in cases in which an employee’s break in service lasted for more than seven years.
Rights Protected by the FMLA
When an employee qualifies for FMLA leave, his or her employer is prohibited from interfering with those rights. This includes a prohibition against getting in the way of an employee’s ability to:
- Submit a request for FMLA leave;
- Cooperate with officials regarding an FMLA-related inquiry; or
- Provide testimony in a proceeding related to an employee’s FMLA rights.
When an employer does not respect these protections, it can be required to pay lost wages, compensate the individual for medical expenses that would have been covered under the employer’s insurance policy, and reinstate the employee to his or her former position.
Call Today to Learn More About Your Rights Under the FMLA
To speak with an experienced Newark FMLA lawyer about your denied request for leave, please call Marshall & Forman, LLC at (614) 463-9790. Initial consultations are offered free of charge, so please do not hesitate to call or contact us online today.