The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is an important piece of federal legislation that provides some — but not all — employees the right to take time off of work without pay in the event of a family medical issue or when they’re bringing a new child into the family. This vital piece of employment-related legislation must be honored by employers, or they will face legal consequences.
Nevertheless, it’s not unheard of for an employer to retaliate against an employee — or discourage employees — when a worker asks for the right to exercise these rights. If this happened to you, you might want to pursue a lawsuit to protect yourself. Here are four circumstances when an employer might have violated your FMLA rights:
- You were denied the ability to take unpaid time off when you were adopting a new child or when you or your spouse was having a baby.
- You were told that you can’t take unpaid time away from your job while you are suffering from a serious health problem.
- You were advised that you cannot take unpaid leave to help tend to a seriously ill family member.
- You lost your job because you decided to exercise your FMLA rights, i.e., you were wrongfully terminated.
The employees covered under the FMLA are those who work for companies with 50-plus employees who are working within a 75-mile radius of each other, as well as public sector and educational employees. If this sounds like you — and one of the above four situations happened — you may want to consider speaking with an attorney regarding your best next steps.