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FMLA Violations Lawsuits

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What Is the FMLA?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is gives certain employees the right to take time off for in order to tend to health problems or take care of another. An employee must be eligible before the FMLA is triggered. The law is federal, and thus applies to many companies. Unfortunately, these companies may not fully understand the workings of the FMLA.

How Can Violating the FMLA Trigger a Lawsuit?

Often times the FMLA is accidentally triggered. Still, a violation is a violation, and should be handled accordingly.

The first step in determining whether the FMLA is triggered is determining whether the employer is required to submit to the FMLA. Pursuant to the law, only employers of 50 or more individuals are required to abide by the regulations set forth in the FMLA.

The next step is determining whether or not the employee is eligible. Some basic requirements include:

  • An employee to have worked at least one year
  • For at least 1,250 hours
  • At a facility whose employees are at least 50, and within a 75 mile radius

Moreover, employees can only take leave for certain reasons. Some reasons include:

  • Birth, adoption, or foster care
  • Serious health condition
  • A family member's serious health condition
  • Exigent circumstance arising out of a family member's military deployment
  • A family member's serious injury or illness arising from military service.

What Are Some Problems That Expose Employers to FMLA Lawsuits?

There are several things employers do that can expose employers to legal action.

  1. Lack of Notice – Employers are required, by law, to give their employees notice of the FMLA. Similarly, employers may ask their employees for certain documents related to their claim. Asking an employee to handover too many documents or failing to provide adequate notice may amount to a violation of the FMLA.
  2. Inadequate of Leave Management – Qualifying employees are entitled to 12 weeks of leave per year for qualifying conditions. In some instances, this amount of time may be extended. Moreover, an employer can communicate with an employee during their time off, but not to the extent it interferes with the employee’s time off.
  3. Reinstatement Issues – Subject to certain exceptions, an employee is entitled to their position when they return from FMLA leave.

Should I Seek Legal Advice?

FMLA issues can be complex and difficult to navigate. The experience of an employment law attorney can help you determine if you suffered a violation, or if you are an employer, have violated the law. Your lawyer can explain your rights and responsibilities, and help you proceed accordingly.

Photo of page author Matthew Izzi

, LegalMatch Legal Writer and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 01-24-2017 12:30 PM PST

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