The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is federal legislation that allows eligible workers at a company with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a 12-month period. This leave allows employees to take time off to care for themselves or close family members with a serious medical condition. This also includes time off for the birth or adoption of children. To be eligible, an employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and worked 1,250 hours during the twelve-month period prior to taking FMLA time off.
If your FMLA leave has been denied, it may seem like a hopeless situation as you probably already have a lot going on. A denial may even leave you without any vacation or paid time off, if your employer required that you use those first. There are several avenues you can take to learn if the denial of your FMLA leave complies with the law.
United States Department of Labor
The Department of Labor is the agency that oversees FMLA and issues employees experience when requesting leave from their employer. If there is a local DOL office nearby, you can visit them and describe your situation. If there is not a local office near you, you can contact the agency by phone or in writing using the phone numbers and address on their website. If you are writing to complain of an FMLA denial, you will likely need to send your complaint in writing.
Once the DOL receives your complaint, they will conduct an investigation. If you were not denied FMLA rights unlawfully, the DOL will likely send you a notice explaining why your employer did not violate the FMLA. If you were denied FMLA rights unlawfully, they will work with you and your employer in an attempt to resolve the problem. However, this can be a long drawn-out process. A local attorney experienced with FMLA claims may be able to help.
Consult with a Columbus Employment Attorney
The law allows employees wrongfully denied FMLA leave to file suit and if successful, recover damages for losses or harm suffered as a result. An employment attorney can help you file a legal claim against your employer to receive this compensation.
An attorney is also especially helpful if your employer is retaliating against you. Sometimes, employers retaliate against employees who take their rightful leave or even simply ask for it. Employers could demote you, reduce the number of hours you work, or even terminate your employment. If the sole reason for the adverse employment action is that you exercised your rights under the FMLA, you may have a viable retaliation claim. However, it is important that you speak to an employment attorney who can fully assess your situation, determine if you have been denied rights under the FMLA, and if so, help you pursue a legal claim.
Call Our Ohio Employment Attorneys
If you have been denied rightful FMLA leave, you may be wondering what step to take next. At Marshall & Forman, LLC, we are the Columbus employment attorneys who can help. After evaluating your potential case, we will determine if your employer has infringed on your rights and if so, we will help you take the appropriate action. Call us today or contact us online so we can get started.