Los Angeles Family and Medical Leave Act Claims Attorney
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible employees are entitled to 12 workweeks of leave in a year. If you qualify, you can temporarily leave work for the birth of a child, the adoption of a child, to care for a seriously ill spouse or child, or for treatment of a serious health condition that makes it difficult for you to function at work. You should qualify for a leave of absence under the FMLA without being fired if you have worked for at least 12 months for a private-sector employer with 50 or more employees, a public agency or a public or private elementary or secondary school regardless of the number of workers it employs.
If you believe that you are entitled to FMLA leave and your employer has denied your legal rights, it is important that you contact an experienced Los Angeles employment lawyer right away. Strong Advocates can help ensure that your rights are protected. We will explore all options including negotiation of a fair settlement, filing a complaint with the Department of Labor or filing a lawsuit. Contact us online or by calling (800) 870-9886.
Understanding Your Rights
Determining whether you are eligible for leave is just the first step. Next, you will have to comply with your employer’s requirements for requesting leave. You will likely have to file a request 30 days in advance if the need for a leave is foreseeable. If the leave is unexpected, you must file a request as soon as possible. If you are requesting leave because of a serious health condition, your employer may require certification from your health care provider. Your employer may even request a second or third medical opinion.
Employers who have at least 50 employees are required under the law to comply with the FMLA. Not every employee of a covered employer is, however, eligible for leave. There are some criteria that must be met. The employee must have worked for the employer for at least a year. He or she must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous year. Also, employees may take leave under FMLA only for the following:
- The birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child.
- The employee’s own serious health condition.
- Caring for a family member with a serious health condition.
- Family emergencies that qualify including serious injury, illness or a family member’s military deployment.
Employers sometimes misinterpret the law and deny employees coverage. They may fail to recognize serious health conditions. For example, while a minor infection such as a cold or sore throat will not qualify as a “serious health condition,” an employee who develops severe health complications such as pneumonia will likely be covered by the FMLA. In some cases, employees also discipline employees for excessive absences. Under the law, employers cannot count absences that qualify under the FMLA against an employee.
Employers regularly violate provisions of the law by requiring employees to give too much notice, by failing to inform employees of their rights, and by failing to read and recognize the notice filed by their employees. It is against the law for employers to interfere with or restrain the FMLA. However, it is relatively common for employers to unlawfully terminate or to retaliate against employees who exercise their right to take a leave of absence. If you feel that your rights under the FMLA have been violated, you may file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division. You may also file a lawsuit against your employer seeking damages for your losses.
Seeking Legal Guidance
If you believe that your employer has violated your FMLA leave rights, it is important that you understand your rights and discuss your options with an experienced employment lawyer. Strong Advocates will help provide you with a free legal case analysis and help to develop a strategic approach to help resolve your claims. FMLA is a federal law that gives eligible employees the right to take time off for certain emergencies and health problems. It is a law that helps millions of American workers balance work with family and personal commitments. If your employer has failed to understand your situation and the law and has violated provisions of the FMLA, please call (800) 870-9886 for a comprehensive consultation.