If you find yourself needing extended time off work due to a personal or familial medical emergency, you may wonder if your job will still be there when you return. Thankfully, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) exists to help workers in this exact situation. However, many workers in California may have questions regarding their eligibility. 

At Blackstone Law, our dedicated FMLA attorneys are committed to helping workers in California understand their rights under the law. We know how stressful a family medical emergency can be and will work with you to make the legal process as stress-free as possible. When you choose us, you choose a compassionate legal advocate who will fight aggressively for your rights and interests. 

Am I Eligible for FMLA?

FMLA allows employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specific medical conditions affecting themselves or their immediate family members. Companies or organizations that employ more than 50 employees for more than 20 workweeks or more a year are covered by FMLA. Employees may be eligible to take FMLA leave if they meet the following requirements:

  • They work in a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius
  • They have been employed for at least one year
  • They have worked at least 1,250 hours over the last 12 months, or approximately 24 hours per week

If you meet the above requirements, you may be eligible to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in one year. Depending on the nature of your needs, you may also be allowed to take intermittent leave, meaning that you may be able to take shorter blocks of leave at different times instead of all 12 weeks at once. 

Valid Reasons to Use FMLA

There are many valid reasons an employee may need to use FMLA. One of the most common is to care for yourself or a family member’s serious health condition. FMLA defines a serious health condition as any injury, illness, or impairment that requires continuous or inpatient care from a medical professional. However, there are several reasons an individual may need to use FMLA. A few valid reasons include the following:

  • The employee has a severe health condition
  • The employee’s family member has a serious health condition
  • The birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child
  • Emergency stemming from the employee’s family member’s military deployment
  • The employee’s family member has a severe illness or injury arising from military service

Unfortunately, some individuals may be denied FMLA leave despite their eligibility or the validity of their reasons. Even more commonly, individuals are targeted for retaliation (reduction in hours, demotion, reduction in pay, termination) following their leave or even as early as informing their employer of their intention to take leave. If your employer has unlawfully denied your FMLA, informed you your job would not be protected upon your return, or retaliated against you, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit to protect your rights. An experienced employment attorney can analyze every detail of your case to determine if your rights have been violated and help you pursue justice. 

Speak to a Dedicated FMLA Attorney at Blackstone Law

If you suspect you have been unlawfully denied protected FMLA leave or been retaliated against for taking such a leave, you do not have to fight for your rights alone. At Blackstone Law, our attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients in California hold negligent employers accountable for their violation of federal law. When you retain our services, you can trust that you have an aggressive legal advocate on your side. We understand the intricacies of federal and California employment laws and are ready to apply our experience and skills to your case. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney, call us at (310) 956-4054 or complete our contact form today.