medical or personal emergency involving yourself or a loved one can be devastating. The situation can become even more overwhelming if you have to take extended time off from work. When such a serious incident happens to an employee, there are certain protections in place to make sure that their employer does not retaliate against them. One of the main protections is the Family Medical and Leave Act (FMLA).
If you have experienced retaliation from your employer after taking time off work for a family or medical emergency, the team at Blackstone Law can help you navigate the complexities associated with FMLA leave. We may be able to help you obtain compensation from your employer.
The Family Medical and Leave Act of 1993 is a federal statute, and it is designed for employers with fifty or more employees. Employees are eligible for FMLA leave if they meet the following criteria:
- The employee has worked for the company for at least twelve months
- The employee worked at least 1,250 hours during the twelve months prior to starting FMLA leave.
The FMLA provides that an employee can take up to twelve weeks of leave to address their own serious medical condition or the serious medical condition of a family member. Family members include the employee’s spouse, children, and parents. FMLA eligibility renews every twelve months, and it generally is used for the following events:
- Birth of a child and caring for a newborn within one year of birth
- Adoption or foster placement of a child and care for one year after placement
- Serious health conditions (as defined by FMLA regulations) of the employee or a qualifying family member
- Qualifying emergency of a covered military member on active duty
If you are facing backlash from your employer due to your FMLA leave, you should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
There are a variety of ways employers violate the FMLA. While an employee is on leave, the employer must continue the employee’s health insurance. The employer may communicate with the employee on leave, but the employer cannot do so to the point of interfering with the employee’s time off. Still, most employers commonly violate the FMLA in the following ways:
- Failing to continue health insurance
- Disciplining or firing employees for taking leave
- Reinstating an employee to a lesser position
- Misclassifying the employee as a “key” employee
You should seek legal counsel if your employer has taken any of the above actions.
Once an employee believes they have a viable FMLA claim, they should contact an experienced employment attorney. If the claim is viable and litigation is successful, the following damages are potentially recoverable:
- Lost wages and benefits: This is the most commonly awarded monetary compensation in FMLA settlements, with the full amount being determined by the court.
- Actual monetary losses: Courts have capped these losses at a maximum of twelve weeks.
- Liquidated damages: These include back pay and actual monetary losses, plus any interest on those sums. These are commonly awarded if it is determined that the FMLA violation was intentional on the part of the employer.
An attorney will be able to examine the facts of your case and help you determine what damages you are eligible to receive.
At Blackstone Law, the foundation of our practice is a genuine compassion for those brave enough to speak out. As Los Angeles FMLA lawyers, we constantly strive to uphold the rights of the individual, as guaranteed by the justice system.
The seasoned employment attorneys at Blackstone Law have a proven track record of obtaining favorable results for our clients. We understand how difficult it can be when you need to take FMLA leave and are punished for exercising your rights. We offer knowledgeable legal advice and dedicated, honest representation to all of our clients. We may be able to help you recover compensation for any damages you may have suffered. For a free consultation, you can fill out this form or call (310) 956-4054.