The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides most employees with job protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. Under the FMLA, maternity leave (time to care for a newborn child or newly adopted child) and disability leave is protected.
The FMLA provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave per year. The act further provides that, while employees are on FMLA leave, all group health benefits must be maintained. FMLA leave can be used for the following reasons:
- The birth and care of a newborn child
- The employee is unable to work due to their own serious health condition or temporary disability
- Placement of a child for adoption or foster care
- To care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition or temporary disability
Most, but not all employees, are eligible for protections provided by the FMLA. Employees are eligible for FMLA leave if they meet these qualifications:
- The individual is employed by a public agency, a public or private elementary or secondary school, or a private company with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius
- The employee has worked for their employer for at least one year
- The employee has worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous year
Despite clear protections provided by the FMLA, some employers violate an employee’s rights regarding disability or maternity leave. Common examples of FMLA violations include:
- Denying rightfully due disability or maternity leave
- Telling an employee that their job will not be protected while they are on leave
- Retaliating against an employee for taking disability or maternity leave (i.e, harassment, demotion, denying a promotion or other job opportunities)
- Terminating an employee for using disability or maternity leave
If you suspect an employer of violating your rights regarding disability or maternity leave, contact us for a free, no obligation consultation.