Even people who love their job want work-life balance, and it is something that is becoming increasingly difficult to find. Unfortunately, neither state or federal law outlines rules for the things that could make this easier, such as paid sick or vacation leave.
However, this does not mean employees are left without any rights altogether. Individuals who have health and medical issues, or who have a family member who struggles with these problems do have some protection under the law. Still, these laws do not always apply to all workers, so the law still has a long way to go to provide the protections employees need.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows some employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave when they need to care for their own medical condition, or a family member that suffers from a medical condition. Employees are eligible if they have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours over the past 12 months for the same employer. The company must also employ 50 or more employees within a 75 mile radius.
For eligible employees, FMLA can provide some work-life balance. An employee can take time off to care for themselves and recover from a serious medical condition, or to take the necessary time to care for a family member. The time off does not need to be taken all at once, but can be taken intermittently.
In 1978, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act became an addition to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. When most people think of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, they think of the protections it provides in hiring and firing practices. Employers cannot refuse to hire a woman who is pregnant, and they also cannot fire an employee for becoming pregnant. However, the Act provides more protection than that, as well.
Under the Act, employers must treat pregnant women like other employees who have a temporary disability. This means employers must provide reasonable accommodations, including lighter duties and the possibility of the woman taking unpaid temporary leave. Likewise, employers also cannot forbid pregnant women from continuing on with their employment duties if the employee feels as though they are able to do so.
Generally speaking, employers are also not allowed to treat fathers differently than women who have children in the workplace. For example, if an employer allows mothers to take unpaid time off for their child’s extracurricular activities, they must allow fathers to do the same.
Finding a work-life balance is never easy, but there are some federal laws that protect your rights. At Marshall Forman & Schlein, our Ohio employment lawyers know the rights you have and will inform you of them. If your employer has violated your rights, we also know how to make it right. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help with your case.
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