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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
at (855)-532-8365 or fill out our online form to schedule a free