The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees to take unpaid time off work for family or medical reasons and requires employers to reinstate the employee’s position when they
can return to work. Unfortunately, employees often find that their boss isn’t too happy about them taking off work and can experience harsh pushback at work and even outright termination of their
Whether you need to take time off work or are experiencing difficulties with your employer after taking FMLA leave, we can help you through the legal process. Call us at (815) 289-3209 to discuss
your situation with a Rockford FMLA lawyer.
In order to determine whether you are eligible to take time off work under FMLA, there are two preliminary requirements you must meet: (1) working for a “covered employer” under the FMLA; and (2)
the duration of your employment.
The FMLA only applies to certain employers. In order to qualify for FMLA leave, your employer must fall within one of these categories:
Private sector-employer with 50 or more employees;
- Public agency, including a local, state, or Federal government agency, regardless of the number of employees; or
- Public or private elementary or secondary school, regardless of the number of employees.
Only eligible employees are entitled to FMLA leave. In order to be considered an “eligible employee” under the FMLA, you must meet the following criteria:
Worked for a covered employer (as defined in the previous section);
- Worked for the employer for at least 12 months;
- Worked at least 1,250 hours for that employer during the 12 months immediately preceding the FMLA leave;
- Worked at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.
If you work for a “covered employer” and you are an “eligible employee” then you can take up to 12 workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:
The birth of a child or placement of a child for adoption or foster care;
- To care of a spouse, son or daughter, or parent, who has a serious health condition;
- For a serious health conditions that makes you unable to perform the essentials functions of your job;
If you have a spouse, son, daughter, or parent, who is a military member then you qualify for additional categories of leave which include:
Military Caregiver Leave: You can take up to 26 workweeks off to care for your military family member if they are suffering from a serious injury or
- Qualifying Exigency Leave: If your military family member is on covered active duty or has been notified of an impending call to duty, you may take off for “qualified exigencies” which may
include making alternative child care arrangements for a child of the deployed military member, attending certain military ceremonies and briefings, or making financial or legal arrangements to
address the military member’s absence.
We can help you determine whether you are entitled to FMLA leave which includes an assessment of whether your employer is a “covered employer,” whether you qualify as an “eligible employee,” and
whether the reason for your leave falls within the FMLA statute. We will prepare a written notice stating that you are taking FMLA leave and send it to your employer. Your employer may require a
medical certification from your doctor and may require a second medical opinion and periodic recertification.
Under the FMLA, your employer may not interfere with your FMLA leave, discriminate or retaliate against you for taking or requesting FMLA leave, or take any adverse action against you and your
job because you took FMLA leave. The following are some examples of common ways employers violate the FMLA:
Fires you during FMLA leave because the employer wants you to work during your leave time;
- Refuses to approve your FMLA leave because the employer does not want you gone;
- Gives you a negative performance review because you were not able to complete the same amount of work as your fellow employees who did not take FMLA leave during the same period;
- Demotes you or reduces your job duties because you requested FMLA leave;
- Significantly changes your work schedule or delays in putting you back on the schedule;
- Harassing you while on leave, which can include constant phone calls, pressure to come back to work, and interfering with your leave by insisting you do job duties like “just answer a few
If you have complied with all the provisions of the FMLA then your employer must reinstate your exact position or an equivalent job with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions
of employment. If your employer refuses to reinstate your position, puts you into a lower position, or outright terminates you, then you have the option of bringing a lawsuit against your
We will work to get your job back or secure financial compensation in the form of a severance agreement. If your employer won’t budge, we always have the option of taking your case to court and
receiving an award for wages you would have earned if you were working as well as additional amounts for liquidated damages and attorneys’ fees.
FMLA claims can get complicated and require a very technical understanding of FMLA rules and regulations. We understand that dealing with injury or illness is stressful enough without having to
worry about your job and the technical requirement of the FMLA. We help clients through various stages of FMLA claims.
Whether you want to know if you are eligible to take FMLA leave, are already on FMLA leave and experiencing problems with your employer, or have recently been terminated due to an FMLA leave, the
Law Office of Adrian Murati is here to help you. You can call us at (815) 289-3209 to speak to a Rockford attorney about your FMLA claim.