Medical leave is when a person takes a leave of absence from work due to a medical illness, medical condition, pregnancy, or other similar issues. Laws that govern medical leave allow a person to take leave and:
- Retain their position while off work,
- Receive pay and benefits in some cases, and
- Eventually return to their position.
Medical leave is governed by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This Act outlines who is eligible for medical leave and other types of leave. Some states also have their own paid leave laws, while other states merely rely on the FMLA.
What Are Medical Leave Disputes?
Medical leave disputes may occur when an employer and employee have a disagreement over the employee’s absence. A medical leave dispute can involve:
- Disputes over eligibility for leave
- Wrongful termination, such as if the employee was wrongfully terminated during the leave
- Issues with back pay or withheld wages if the employee was eligible for said wages
- Fraudulent filing, such as faking a medical condition to obtain medical leave
- Accounting violations, such as tax or record-keeping fraud
Some medical leave disputes may cross over with related issues like maternity leave or bereavement leave.
Are There Any Legal Remedies for Medical Leave Disputes?
A claim for a medical leave violation may require a substantial investigation into the practices and work policies of the employer. This may require the employer to re-work their existing medical leave policies so that they conform to federal and state medical leave laws.
Also, the employee may be entitled to damages award if they have suffered lost wages, lost benefits, or if they’ve been terminated from their position. This may require filing with a civil court of law in the jurisdiction where the violation occurred.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help With Medical Leave Disputes?
Medical leave disputes are a common subject when it comes to employment law violations. You may need to contact an employment lawyer if you need to file a complaint regarding medical or family leave. Your attorney can provide you with legal representation, and can help ensure that you receive the appropriate legal remedy.