Recently on the blog, we discussed your right to take leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. While this federal law gives you broad protection to take time off from work for certain medical conditions, employers often don’t follow the law, thereby denying employees their rights under the law.
How do FMLA violations occur?
There are a lot of ways that employers violate the FMLA. Let’s look at some of the most common ways that they stray from the requirements of the law:
- Denying leave for protected medical conditions: A lot of employers have a misunderstanding about the extent of the FMLA. As such, they sometimes deny leave requests because they think that the condition at hand isn’t serious enough to qualify for protection under the FMLA. If the law applies to the employer, this denial of leave is a violation that can negatively impact a worker’s personal and professional lives.
- Unwarranted discipline: If your leave is protected under the FMLA, your employer is required to allow you that time off. Also, you can’t be punished or otherwise treated negatively for taking your protected time off. Yet, a lot of times, employers discipline or otherwise unfairly treat employees who have taken a significant amount of time off from work under the FMLA.
- Excessive notice requirements: The FMLA has certain notice requirements that the employee must meet if they want to take protected time off. Although an employer can require more notice than is required by the FMLA if you intend to use accrued paid time off, they can’t deny your unpaid leave under the FMLA as long as you comply with the notice requirements specified under federal law.
- Improperly recognizing notice: Even if you don’t specifically ask for leave under the FMLA, your employer should be able to recognize when the reason for your leave falls under FMLA protections. If it doesn’t despite an adequate amount of information being provided, you may be either denied the protected leave that you deserve, or you may end up being punished for taking time off.
What should you do if your rights under the FMLA have been violated?
If your rights have been violated, you might want to consider taking legal action against your employer. If you’re successful, you might be able to recover compensation for your losses. Those recoverable damages include:
- Back pay for the wages and benefits that you’ve lost since being fired or demoted
- Future wages and benefits that you would’ve earned if you had been able to keep your job
- Liquidated damages that are specified by statute
- Attorney fees
As you can see, there’s a lot on the line in your case. Deciding not to take legal action could leave you facing financial struggles that you don’t deserve, which is why you might want to consider seeking assistance from an attorney who is experienced in this area of the law and who has a track record of success.
Are you ready to start building your case?
Before you start pursuing legal action against your employer, you’ll want to make sure that you have strong evidence on your side. An attorney can help you determine what kind of evidence you’ll need and figure out where to find it. Once that evidence is in hand, you and your advocate can start developing the persuasive legal arguments that are needed to succeed on your claim.
So, if you want to know more about what you can do to position your claim for success, we encourage you to reach out to a legal professional you trust to stand up for you and fight for the outcome you deserve.