FMLA Violations by Employers: A Quick Guide to Recognizing Them

Need information about FMLA violations by employers? Gain insights and guidance from Waltman Employment Law. Call us for in-depth assistance.

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As an employment retaliation law firm, we at Waltman Employment Law understand the challenges and complexities that employees face when trying to balance work and family responsibilities. One significant protection for employees is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which safeguards eligible employees by allowing them to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave within a 12-month period for specific family and medical reasons.

It is crucial for employees to know their FMLA rights and for employers to understand their obligations under this Act. The FMLA applies to all public agencies, including state, local and federal employers, local education agencies (schools), as well as private-sector employers with 50 or more employees. This article will provide insight into what constitutes FMLA violations by employers and how employees can recognize these breaches.

At Waltman Employment Law, our mission is to stand up for employees who have been wronged. Our commitment, compassion, and experience make us your go-to employee retaliation lawyers for tailored advocacy against workplace injustices. We have extensive experience fighting for clients in FMLA cases, ensuring employees are protected under this vital legislation.

What Is the FMLA

The Family and Medical Leave Act is a crucial federal law that we, at Waltman Employment Law understand quite well. It was established to provide eligible employees with job-protected leave for specific family and medical reasons, allowing them a chance to attend to their families and health without fearing the loss of their jobs. Administered by the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor, this Act offers crucial protections to many employees across the country.

To be considered eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must work for a covered employer. These include private-sector businesses with over 50 employees, public agencies, and elementary and secondary schools, as well as local education agencies. Moreover, eligible employees must have worked for their employer for at least 12 months and completed at least 1,250 hours of service within that time frame.

There are various types of leave covered under the FMLA. Eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period for reasons such as the birth of a child, a serious health condition, or to care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition. Additionally, up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave is available for military caregiver leave, supporting a relative with a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty. The FMLA also allows for intermittent leave and reduced schedule leave to cater to the varying needs of employees.

As employer responsibilities go, covered employers are required to offer eligible employees unpaid leave while maintaining their group health insurance coverage during this period. Moreover, they must guarantee that the employee can return to their original job or an equivalent position with equal pay and benefits upon their return. Employers must also display an informative FMLA poster at their workplace and provide eligible employees with requested FMLA information.

At Waltman Employment Law, our mission is to stand up for employees who’ve been wronged. We strive to provide our clients with the highest quality legal representation and advocacy. Schedule a consultation today. 

Common FMLA Violations by Employers

While the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees to take unpaid time off work to address certain health and family issues, some employers still violate these rules, causing distress to employees.. Here are some common FMLA violations we encounter while defending the rights of employees.

  1. Denial of FMLA Rights: Employers may improperly deny FMLA requests, even though the employee meets all the eligibility requirements. This can include situations where employees are not given the full 12 weeks of leave allowed, or their requests are delayed unnecessarily.

  2. Retaliation: If you’ve faced retaliation for taking FMLA leave, know that it is against the law. This can show up in various ways, such as a demotion, negative performance review, or even termination solely because of exercising your FMLA rights.

  3. Interference: Another common violation is when employers interfere with your FMLA leave, such as restricting your work or pressuring you to return to work before the approved period ends. Employers are prohibited from interfering with, restraining, or denying the exercise of your FMLA rights.

  4. Failure to Notify: Employers are responsible for informing you about your FMLA rights, and their failure to do so is a violation. This includes providing employees with a notice of eligibility, rights, and responsibilities related to their leave request.

  5. Inadequate Designation of Leave: An employer must designate the time off as FMLA-protected leave after being informed. If they fail to do this or improperly classify your leave, it can lead to issues with job protection and unpaid benefits.
  6. Failure to Provide an Equivalent Job: When an employee returns from FMLA leave, they must be reinstated to the same or an equivalent job, including benefits and pay.

If you suspect a violation, it’s important to gather documentation and evidence, as it can help in case you decide to take legal action. This includes records of communication with your employer, medical certifications, and documentation of attempts to exercise FMLA rights. For more information on identifying FMLA violations, consult discrimination and harassment lawyers at Waltman Employment Law. 

Waltman Employment Law: Your Ally

At Waltman Employment Law, we understand the challenges employees face when dealing with Family and Medical Leave Act violations by employers. As a Super Lawyers Rising Star, Rick Waltman understands the nuances of employment law and is always ready to take action against violations. Our mission is to stand up for employees wronged by abusive, non-compliant workplaces. We have the experience, devotion, and prowess to succeed against such retaliation. The process of navigating FMLA regulations, including the role of the Wage and Hour Division and employee rights under the statute, is complex. As your allies, we are committed to:

  1. Guiding you through the maze of FMLA laws
  2. Helping you understand your rights as an eligible employee
  3. Designing a tailored legal strategy
  4. Carefully analyzing your circumstances

Our transition from defending corporations to championing employee rights demonstrates our dedication to fairness and empathy. With us by your side, you can confidently rely on our legal acumen to advocate for your rights.

Every employee deserves to exercise their right to job-protected leave, be it dealing with a serious health condition or attending to family and medical reasons. Our team has the necessary know-how to tackle public agencies, private-sector employers, and other organizations violating your rights under the FMLA. Be it fighting for a reduced leave schedule or upholding your right for military caregiver leave, trust our personalized approach to the litigation process.

When it comes to FMLA protections, our diverse experience enables us to tackle challenges, such as:

  • Ensuring an employee’s right to return to work
  • Protecting against employee discrimination or retaliation
  • Securing accrued paid leave provisions
  • Upholding FMLA entitlements for key employees and qualifying exigencies

Don’t hesitate to reach out to Waltman Employment Law for FMLA-related issues. We invite you to contact us and schedule a consultation. Let us be your ally in fighting workplace injustices and securing the FMLA benefits you deserve.