Through the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) employees can take reasonable leave from their jobs under certain conditions and for prescribed amounts of time for personal or family medical needs. FMLA provides unpaid time off for families to adjust to the birth of a child or to care for a child after the adoption of a child. Individuals are also permitted to take leave to care for an ill family member or spouse. Additionally, if the employee is himself or herself personally suffering from a serious health condition that prohibits the employee from returning to work, he or she is permitted to take leave under FMLA. It is applicable to “all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees,” according to the Department of Labor. FMLA requires that all such parties extend this type of leave to employees for up to 12 weeks each year if any of the stated reasons should apply. FMLA specifically prescribes the following requirements for qualifying leaves:
Employers must have 50 or more employees in their business to qualify
Employees must have 12 months consecutive full time employment and must have worked at least 1,250 hours within the previous 12 months
Employees are entitled to 12 weeks unpaid leave
Leaves are approved for personal medical needs (pregnancy or serious medical conditions) or family medical needs (caring for sick family member, bonding with new baby)
Leaves must be completed during a 12 month period of time
Leave extensions may be permitted under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Family and Medical Leave Act was designed to provide employees with job security in the time that they need to spend away from work for specified reasons. It provides for continued health insurance coverage under the same terms that an employee was provided before they took leave, as well.
Not all employers are required to provide FMLA. If you are being told by your employer that your place of employment is exempt, you may want to speak to the FMLA claim lawyers at Miller, Hampton, & Hilgendorf in Baton Rouge, Louisiana today who can evaluate your situation. If you do qualify for FMLA, but your FMLA was denied, or you were fired, demoted, or disciplined for taking entitled leave, you may be entitled to make a FMLA claim under the law.
FMLA also only applies in certain circumstances. These include:
- The birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child in your home
- Your own serious health condition that requires you to take leave from work
- A family member’s serious health condition that requires you to take leave from work to care for your loved one
- Time off to accommodate a family member’s military deployment
- Time off to care for a family member seriously injured in military service
If you have requested a leave and were denied leave by your employer or were demoted or fired after your return to work, your rights may have been violated. If this is your situation, you require the services of an experienced employment lawyer at Miller, Hampton & Hilgendorf. Please contact us at your first opportunity to learn about our extensive experience in employment law and to share your situation with us. We will gladly evaluate the facts of your case and determine how we may be able to protect your employee rights. Our FMLA claim attorneys in Baton Rouge, Louisiana may be able to help you.
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Your Rights When Taking Unpaid Leave Under FMLA in Louisiana
What are your rights when taking unpaid leave under FMLA? Workers are granted certain important protections under the law. Sometimes workers are granted leave, but they suffer from other forms of pushback or consequences from their employers. Understanding your rights is the first step in protecting them.
For example, your employer cannot cut off health insurance during your unpaid leave. Additionally, your employer cannot pressure you to return to work until the 12 week period has passed. While your employer is entitled to ask you about when you plan to return to work, if you are threatened or pressured to return sooner than you are ready, you may have certain rights under the law. Finally, you cannot be demoted, disciplined, or written up because you chose to take FMLA. If you believe your rights have been violated because you took FMLA, contact Miller, Hampton, & Hilgendorf, a FMLA claim law firm in Baton Rouge, Louisiana today. Keep all written communications with your employer. Any evidence could strengthen your case.
Do I Have a FMLA Claim Against My Employer?
Sometimes employers and employees may have some confusion about what situations are covered under FMLA. Sometimes employers willfully and wrongfully deny their workers FMLA, while in other cases, employees may not be entitled to take leave because either their medical situation or a family member’s medical condition isn’t considered serious enough. Knowing when you are entitled to leave and when you are not entitled to leave is important when making a FMLA claim.
For example, when making a FMLA claim, your medical situation must be sufficiently serious to warrant taking unpaid leave. A minor cold may not be sufficient, but a serious flu requiring hospitalization may qualify an employee for unpaid leave. Employees may be required to provide proper notice to their employer that they will be taking FMLA, but employers also have a responsibility to inform workers about their rights. If you believe you were misinformed, or were not informed about your rights, you may also have the right to make a FMLA claim against your employer. For example, telling an employee that he or she doesn’t qualify for FMLA when he or she does, is a violation of worker’s rights.
If you were denied health insurance coverage, were demoted, disciplined, or wrongfully fired because you took FMLA, you may have the right to seek damages for your lost wages and other losses. Miller, Hampton, & Hilgendorf are FMLA claim lawyers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana who may be able to help you seek justice for your lost wages and lost benefits. Contact our firm today to learn more.