If your employer does not embrace your legal right to take FMLA leave in Baton Rouge, they are essentially stealing from you. FMLA is paid time that is rightfully yours – and if your employer for any reason prevents you from taking FMLA or intimates your or punishes you for taking or trying to take FMLA leave, they are stealing your time and violating your rights.
What Is FMLA Exactly?
Under federal employment law, the FMLA requires employers with at least 50 employees to grant up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to eligible employees for their own or their family members’ serious medical conditions, to bond with a newborn or newly adopted child, and to deal with certain necessities that arise when a spouse, child, or parent is on active military duty, according to Nolo.
What Qualifies as FMLA Leave?
To be entitled to take FMLA leave in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, you must have worked for your employer for at least a year and for a minimum of 1,250 hours over the 12 months preceding the request for leave. In addition to these eligibility requirements, you must be able to prove to the employer that you are requesting the leave for a qualifying reason, such as a serious medical condition or the birth of a child, says Nolo.
Common Ways Employers Violate FMLA Rights
If you are a qualified employee, you may have an FMLA case if your employer denied your request for FMLA leave, refused to reinstate you after you leave, otherwise interfered with your leave request, or has taken some action against you in retaliation for requesting leave, says Nolo.
- Employers fail to recognize serious health conditions. Although the FMLA doesn’t cover minor ailments, some employers violate the law by refusing to allow employees to take leave even for qualifying conditions. For example, although a cold generally won’t qualify as a serious health condition, an employee who develops complications such as bronchitis or pneumonia is likely covered by the FMLA.
- Disciplining employees for excessive absences. Some employers have “no-fault” absence policies, which count every absence for any reason against the employee. Once an employee reaches a certain number of absences, the employer disciplines the employee. However, it’s illegal for an employer to count FMLA-qualified absences against an employee. This violation sometimes happens because an employer doesn’t ask for more information about the reasons why an employee is absent, and so doesn’t realize when an employee is eligible for FMLA leave.
What Kind of Compensation Could You Win in an FMLA Case?
If you win your FMLA case, employment law entitles you to receive money damages (compensation) for certain losses and injuries resulting from your employer’s violation of your rights. A judge or jury has the discretion to award you one or more of the following types of compensation:
- Lost Back Pay. This refers to wages, salary, and benefits you lost as a result of your employer’s wrongful actions. Back pay covers such lost earnings from the date of termination (or other action by your employer) to the date of the judgment in your case.
- Lost Front Pay. This refers to wages, salary, and benefits you will lose in the future as a result of your employer’s actions (from the date of the judgment to some point in the future). For example, if you’re unlikely to find a new job for another year because of the violation, you may be awarded front pay for that year.
- Liquidated Damages. These amounts automatically awarded unless your employer can show that they acted in good faith. For example, if your employer can prove that they made an honest mistake when denying you leave, you will not be awarded liquidated damages. Your employer might fight back with claims that they made a mistake – but an employment law attorney can fight back!
- Emotional Distress and Punitive Damages. You cannot recover for your emotional distress caused by a violation of the FMLA. You also can’t win “punitive damages,” which are intended to punish the employer and deter similar violations in the future. However, some state family and medical leave laws do allow for recovery of emotional distress or punitive damages for violations of those laws.
What To Do Next
If you think your employer is violating your FMLA rights in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, you might have an employment law case! With help from an experienced employment law attorney, you can successfully fight for justice and win the compensation you’re entitled to! Call 225-343-2205 or send us a message online.
3960 Government St.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806