Under the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"), employers must allow eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave to care for the employee's own serious health condition, to care for a family member's serious health condition, and for the birth or care of a newborn or adopted child.
To be an eligible employee under the FMLA, an employee must:
- be employed for at least 12 months; and
- have worked for at least 1,250 hours in the year prior to the date of your leave.
Additionally, an employer needs to provide FMLA leave only if it is covered by the FMLA. To be covered, the employer must be:
- a private-sector employer, with 50 or more employees in 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year, including a joint employer or successor in interest to a covered employer; or
- a public agency, including a local, state, or Federal government agency, regardless of the number of employees it employs; or
- a public or private elementary or secondary school, regardless of the number of employees it employs.
The FMLA prohibits employers from interfering with an employee's rights under the law, including the right to take leave, refusing to authorize leave, discouraging an employee from taking leave, and imposing requirements on an employee for taking leave that are not required by law. With a handful of exceptions, an employer also cannot interfere with an employee's rights upon his or her return from leave, including the right to be placed back in their previous position or in an equivalent position. The FMLA further protects employees against retaliation for taking leave.
If your employer has given you a problem because of your FMLA leave - whether denying you FMLA leave, interfering with your FMLA leave, or retaliating against you because of your FMLA leave -- please contact an employment lawyer at Weiner & Sand LLC to discuss the interference, retaliation and your rights.