When a worker needs time off work to take care of his or her own health or that of a family member, there may be concerns about the job-related consequences. Fortunately, federal law provides employees with rights in situations where they need to take leave for qualifying reasons. Our team at Minnis & Smallets LLP is dedicated to protecting worker interests and holding accountable any employer that violates the law. Please contact our firm to set up a consultation with an Alameda County FMLA lawyer today.
Enacted in 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is intended to protect qualifying workers from suffering adverse consequences if they need time off for designated reasons. They are allowed to take up to 12 weeks off during a 12-month period, though workers are not required to take the time all at once. It is a common misconception that employers must provide pay during this time, but that is not the case. However, an employer normally is required to reinstate the individual to the same or similar position, at the same rate of pay, when the employee returns from leave. Plus, if an employer normally pays for group health insurance, the employee can receive these benefits during the time away. An employer may not interfere with an employee’s ability to request or take FMLA leave, such as by denying leave, or retaliate against the employee because he or she has exercised the right to take FMLA leave.
Workers can take advantage of the protections described above if they are eligible according to FMLA standards. To qualify, an employee:
In addition to meeting the requirements above, an employee must also be taking leave for reasons allowed by FMLA regulations. They include:
Eligible workers may also receive time off if they act as the caretaker for a member of the military who suffers from a medical condition. However, the individual must be a spouse, child, or parent, or someone to whom the employee is next of kin.
Though this information about leave may be helpful, employees may have many other questions about their rights and protections under the FMLA, and how the FMLA intersects with California laws that may offer additional protections when the employee’s FMLA leave runs out.. Our team at Minnis & Smallets LLP can provide more customized information after reviewing your specific situation, so please contact our office to schedule a consultation with an Alameda County FMLA lawyer today.