Family and Medical Leave Act – FMLA Lawyer
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) places a number of requirements on employers. The Act applies to employers who employ 50 or more workers within a 75-mile range by surface streets. Assuming a covered employer and an eligible employee, the FMLA requires that an employer give an employee up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave within any 12-month period. An employer cannot terminate an employee for taking FMLA leave, nor can FMLA leave be counted as non-attendance for disciplinary reasons. An FMLA lawyer is familiar with the nuances of the FMLA and can help make sure you are getting the time off you deserve.
KM&A Employment Law Practice Areas
The vast majority of FMLA claims pan out in one of three protected categories:
- Employee’s Own Serious Health Condition
- Employee Cares For Spouse, Parent, Or Child Under 18 With A Serious Health Condition
- Employee Cares For Newborn Child Or Adopted Child In First Year
If you think your employer has taken action against your or denied you leave based on your request for leave under one of the above categories, please give us a call to talk with an FMLA lawyer.
Who is eligible under the FMLA?
To take FMLA leave, you must be an eligible employee of a covered employer.
An employer is covered by the FMLA if it has 50 employees within a 75-mile radius. For example, if you work in Pittsburgh at an office or worksite where only 10 other employees work, but the company also has an office in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, which employees 40 employees, you are a covered employee for purposes of the FMLA. Your employer must allow eligible employees to take FMLA leave.
Some employers think they are not covered by the law, because they don’t have 50 employees at any one time. However, the law counts all employees your employer had in the past 12 months, even if it doesn’t have that many employees at one time.
To be eligible to take FMLA leave, you must have been employed with your employer for at least twelve months and have worked at least 1,250 hours. The twelve months do not need to be consecutive.
You must provide your employer with 30 days’ notice if the event requiring FMLA leave is foreseeable. The employer may require medical certification from the employee before leave is granted and also before an employee is permitted to return to work. An employer can delay the start of FMLA leave for 30 days if advance notice is not provided. If you and your spouse work for the same employer, you both may not take off 12 weeks to care for the newborn, the adopted child, or to care for a parent with a serious condition. If you believe you have been incorrectly denied FMLA leave, contact an FMLA lawyer today to discuss your options.
What do I get when I take FMLA leave?
The FMLA provides for up to twelve weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave, and prevents you from getting fired when you take FMLA leave. If you face resistance from your employer for trying to take FMLA leave, contact an FMLA attorney. Likewise, if you successfully take FMLA leave and return to no job or a significantly lesser job, an FMLA attorney can help you regain your previous position.
In what types of situations can I take FMLA leave?
The law allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for medical and family reasons, including:
- Illness or injury that keeps the person from working for more than three days;
- Illness of a spouse, child or parent that requires the employee to care for them;
- Pregnancy; and
- Birth or adoption of a child.
Upon return from leave, the employee must be returned to his or her previous job or to one that is equal in pay and benefits to the position held before going on leave. If you are denied returning to work, talk with an FMLA lawyer. An FMLA lawyer can also help if your employer tries to pay you less when you return from leave.
What does an FMLA violation look like?
Employers commonly violate the FMLA by either denying FMLA leave requests or by punishing an employee for taking FMLA leave. An employer may also violate the FMLA by rescinding approved leave or by requiring that you obtain an unnecessary number of statements or clarifications from your doctor. Call a KM&A FMLA attorney if you believe you were wrongfully denied FMLA leave. An FMLA attorney can make sure all of your paperwork is in order for your leave and attempt to compel your employer to approve the rightful FMLA leave. If your employer continues to refuse to grant your leave, an FMLA attorney can help you file your case to get the benefits you deserve.
Can I get fired for using FMLA benefits?
No. Terminating an employee because he or she exercised the right to FMLA leave is a form of retaliation and it is illegal. The law protects employees when an employer takes disciplinary action against an employee for using FMLA benefits. An FMLA lawyer can assist you if you believe you have been retaliated against for taking FMLA leave. By using an experienced FMLA lawyer, you can be sure that your case is being presented in the strongest manner possible. Your FMLA lawyer will help walk you through the claims process and make sure you have the best chance to be compensated for the retaliation.
What about military families?
The FMLA was recently amended to provide members of the military and their families certain protections. If your son, daughter, spouse, or parent is on active duty or has been notified of impending call or order to active service, you can take up to twelve weeks time off to help them. You could be granted as many as 26 weeks of leave to care for a service member who has undergone medical treatment, recuperation, therapy, or has suffered a temporary disability.
Some employers may not be aware of this recent amendment to the FMLA. If you are denied taking FMLA leave as a military family member, contact an FMLA attorney. Your FMLA attorney can help educate your employer and make sure you get time off to spend with your loved one. By making sure you have properly followed procedure for taking time off, your FMLA attorney can help make your request for leave successful.
Why should I consult with an FMLA attorney?
An FMLA attorney is familiar with the laws that govern taking FMLA leave. By making sure that your employer is covered by the FMLA, that your are an eligible employee, and that your application to take FMLA leave is complete according to both statutes and company policy, an FMLA attorney can give you the best possible chance of being allowed to take leave.
Upon returning from leave you may find that your employer did not save your position and salary for you as the law requires. An FMLA attorney can help you through the process of filing a suit against your employer. By using an experienced FMLA attorney, you know that the proper procedure is being followed when filing your suit. Additionally, an FMLA attorney knows the applicable law well. They may be able to settle your claim with your employer outside of court. This settlement can compensate you for lost wages, benefits, and more.
What could I recover?
An FMLA lawyer at KM&A can help you recover:
- Lost Pay
- Health Insurance
In addition, your employer may be penalized for additional damages equal to twice the amount of your economic damages and payment of your employee rights attorney’s fees. An experienced FMLA lawyer can make sure that your claim states the correct damages. By being familiar with the kinds of damages allowed, your FMLA lawyer makes sure that you have the highest potential compensation allowed. An FMLA lawyer could also seek to have your job reinstated as well as any promotions you may have been entitled to, as well as attorney’s fees, witness fees and court costs.
Kraemer, Manes & Associates LLC “KM&A” is a law firm serving all of Pennsylvania with offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Call KM&A in western Pennsylvania at 412-626-5626 or in eastern Pennsylvania at 215-618-9185. KM&A can be reached by email at email@example.com.