Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Family and Medical Leave Act

Employment Law Attorneys Serving Florida

In 2007, the Department of Labor estimated that 76.1 million people were eligible for FMLA leave out of 141.7 million workers in the United States. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) was passed into law in the early 1990s in order to provide employees job-protected and unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons. This act was meant to ensure employers couldn’t fire or punish a person who wanted to take leave for a birth or to tend to a sick or injured loved one.

If your employer has retaliated against you for taking leave under the FMLA, contact us today.

Eligibility for FMLA

Under federal law, employers with at least 50 employees must comply with the FMLA. However, not every employee is covered. An employee must have worked for at least a year, has worked at least 1,250 hours during that year, and must be at a facility with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius. People who are eligible can also only take leave under FMLA for the following reasons:

  • The birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child
  • A family member’s serious health condition
  • The employee’s own serious health condition
  • A family member’s serious injury or illness arising from military service
  • Qualifying exigencies resulting from a family member’s military deployment

Principal FMLA Forms

Depending on why you need to take leave, you will need a different form. All of them can be accessed on the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division website.

WH-380-E

If you developed a serious health condition or require medical leave for the birth of the child, you will need to fill out form WH-380-E (Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Health Condition). The form will require you to complete information regarding why you need leave, how much time you need, and who your employer is.

WH-380-F

If your family member develops a serious health condition and requires your assistance, you can submit form WH-380-F (Certification of Heath Care Provider for Family Member’s Serious Health Condition). You will need to indicate the amount of time you need and the amount of care your family member requires.

WH-381

To ensure you are eligible under FMLA, your employer must provide you with Form WH-381 (Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities). If you never received this from your employer, they are in violation of the FMLA.

WH-382

When your request for leave is approved is denied, you will be sent Form WH-382 (Designation Notice). This form will tell you whether or not your leave is approved and any stipulations regarding your application for leave.

WH-384

If you are seeking leave for a qualifying exigency related to a member of the family being in the military, you will need to submit Form WH-384 (Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave). You will need to provide information regarding the amount of time you need and medical facts related to the need for your leave.

WH-385

If a family member who was seriously injured in the military requires your assistance, you must fill out Form WH-385 (Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Current Servicemember—for Military Family Leave). A portion of this form will need to be completed by a U.S. Department of Defense Health Care Provider.

Violations of FMLA

While employees can sue for compensation if an employer denies their rights under FMLA, some companies will use various tactics to avoid granting leave. For example, companies might fail to recognize a serious health condition or might discipline an employee for excessive absences. Others have a “no-fault” absence policy that counts every absence for any reason against an employee. After a certain amount of absences, the employer takes disciplinary action against the employee.

Notice

Employers must be responsible for compliance with FMLA, including providing eligible employees with a series of notifications of their rights under the act. In turn, employees are legally responsible for providing their employer with notice of their need for FMLA leave. However, some employers will require employees to give too much notice. The act allows employers to impose their own notification policies if employees want to use paid leave during their FMLA, but employees are still eligible for FMLA leave as long as they give the notice required by law. Employers might also fail to recognize an employee’s notice; however, as long as the employee provides sufficient information to let his or her employer know that leave is needed for a covered reason, the employee has given sufficient notice to trigger the employer’s obligations.

Leave Management

An employer can also mismanage leave. Employees are entitled to 12 weeks of leave per year for most qualifying events. While their employees are on leave, an employer may fail to continue health insurance, might hound or pressure employees while they’re on leave, and might discipline or fire employees for taking leave.

Reinstatement

In most cases, employees are entitled to return to their previous positions when their leave is over. However, some employers will return the employee to a lesser position, postpone reinstatement, fail to reinstate benefits, and misclassify an employee as a key employee. Companies aren’t required to reinstate key employees (those among the highest-paid 10% of employees within 75 miles), but this is only true if reinstatement would cause substantial economic injury to the company.

Contact Our Experienced Attorneys Today

If your employer is causing difficulties with your rights under FMLA, don’t hesitate to contact our firm today. LeavenLaw has been helping people fight against unfair labor practice for decades. Our firm is a highly rated law firm that has focused on putting clients first. Let our experienced Florida employment law attorneys use their education and experience to provide you unparalleled customer service. We try to thoroughly understand our clients’ needs and provide compassionate, personalized, affordable, and efficient representation.

To get started on your case, contact us at (855)-532-8365 or fill out our online form to schedule a free