By setting a minimum standard of family leave for all eligible employees, the FMLA attacks the former state-sanctioned stereotype that women are responsible for family care giving, thereby reducing employers' incentives to engage in discrimination by basing hiring and promotion decisions on stereotypes.
- Nevada Dept. of Human Resources v. Hibbs, 538 U.S. 721, 737 (2003)
You never should be punished for putting the health of you and your family ahead of your work. The Family & Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") of 1993 was put into place to make sure all workers are able to balance their jobs with the needs of their families. The law mandates that companies provide necessary unpaid leave to eligible employees who need to take care of themselves, sick family members, or newborn children.
If your employer is refusing to grant you the time you need to take care of your family, or has punished you because of the time you took off, the employment discrimination attorneys at Haynes & Haynes can help make it right. Fill out our online form today. We want to lessen your burden. A consultation is always free, and we are waiting to help.
Requirements Under the Family & Medical Leave Act
Your employer may be obligated to provide unpaid medical leave by law. If so, in order to be entitled to this, you must meet a certain, very specific set of criteria:
- You must have worked at least one year at your current employer and have worked 1,250 hours in the past year;
- Your employer must have at least 50 employees working in a 75-mile radius of your workplace; and
- Your need for leave must be related to the birth of a newborn child, your own serious health condition, the serious health condition of a child, spouse, or parent, or other covered event.
If you meet all of these criteria (and are not otherwise exempt under certain narrow exceptions to the law) and your employer has denied your request for leave, your employer has most likely violated the FMLA. You should speak with an attorney. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we can get started working for you!
What If I Don't Qualify For All The Criteria?
So your situation does not meet every one of the criterion listed above -- is your case over? No. Contact Haynes & Haynes, or your local union or worker's rights coalition, to see if there are any additional protections in place that can be used to help with your case. There are many situations and laws that go beyond the FMLA to help hardworking employees like you. Some employees who are not covered by the FMLA may be entitled to additional leave and paid time off under an employer's own policies, or that of the employee's union or state law. Executive orders may also give you rights. Always be sure to check your company's employee handbook thoroughly for all the rules, or consult with an attorney for the best protections available to you.
What To Do If You Are Experiencing FMLA Discrimination
If you think you have been denied family or medical leave in violation of the FMLA, you can take several steps to remedy that situation.
If you are in a union, contact your union representative. You may be able to file an internal grievance. However, unions are busy and may not be familiar with all of the options available to you by law.
You may also contact your employer's human resources manager with your concerns. However, an HR manager is often focused on supporting the employer's view of the law. Generally, they are not good at advocating for the rights of the employees when those rights conflict with the employer's wishes.
The only way to truly put yourself in the best position to obtain the leave you deserve is by contacting an experienced workplace discrimination attorney. The attorneys at Haynes & Haynes understand the law. We have built our careers on protecting workers. Fill out our online form today, or give us a call at (205) 879-0377 for a free consultation.
Placing family ahead of work is not something you should suffer for. We are here to hold employers who violate the FMLA responsible, so you can get back to the life you love and deserve.