Columbus Family & Medical Leave Act Attorney (FMLA)
Signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain workers with the right to take job-protected, unpaid leave to handle certain qualifying family and medical issues. Unfortunately, when the time comes to take leave, some employees face certain forms of resistance from their employer. They may even be denied leave, pressured into not taking leave, or allowed to take leave only to be told that they are not able to return to their previous position.
At Coffman Legal, our skilled Columbus Family & Medical Leave Act attorney has extensive experience fighting for the rights and interests of workers throughout Central Ohio. If you or your loved one was improperly denied family or medical leave, or if you are facing any adverse employment action for taking leave that was available to you under federal law, we are here to help. To arrange a no-fee, fully confidential review of your employment law claim, please do not hesitate to contact our Columbus law office today.
What is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?
If you have a new baby or a serious illness that requires an extended leave from work, you may be entitled to unpaid, job-protected medical leave. If you are having difficulty with your employer or your employer otherwise refuses to comply with the law, contact an attorney right away. The Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) is one of the most complex areas of law so if you have questions about your leave at work, an employment lawyer can help.
The FMLA permits eligible employees to twelve weeks of unpaid leave from employment for any of the following reasons:
- Caring for a newborn child
- Placing a newborn child for adoption or foster care
- Caring for a spouse, child, or a parent due to a serious health condition
- The employee has a serious health condition and is unable to temporarily perform their job
Employers are prohibited from (1) interfering with, or denying the exercise of, an employee’s FMLA rights; (2) retaliating against an employee for exercising or attempting to exercise their rights to FMLA; (3) discharging or discriminating against an employee for opposing any act made unlawful under the FMLA; and (4) discharging or discriminating against an employee because they participated in a proceeding related to FMLA rights.
If your employer has taken any of the following actions or is otherwise harassing your because of your FMLA leave, contact our Columbus FMLA attorney today. We will conduct a comprehensive assessment of your case and help you determine what steps are needed to protect your rights and get you justice.
FMLA Guidelines for Eligibility
The FMLA only applies to employers with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius of the worksite. To qualify for FMLA leave, employees must have been employed for at least 12 months by the employer prior to the beginning of the leave, and they also must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months.
FMLA leave does not have to be continuous and may be taken on an intermittent basis, or a reduced leave schedule as necessitated by a serious medical condition.
If you have questions about your eligibility for FMLA medical leave, contact our Columbus FMLA attorney. Our Columbus FMLA attorney is adept at representing you if you experience issues with your employer related to your FMLA-protected medical leave.
Providing Notice for Medical Leave
When medical leave is foreseeable, an employee must provide their employer with a 30-day notice of the leave if the employee is able. If providing a 30-day notice is not practicable, notice should be provided as soon as practicable.
For unforeseeable leave, employees should request leave either the same day or next business day. Since there are many nuances to the FMLA, speaking with an attorney is likely the best thing to do if you have any questions.
Returning to Work After a Medical Leave
Upon returning to work, an employee is entitled to obtain the same position held prior to leaving, and to receive the same pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment, or an equivalent position. If your situation falls under the FMLA guidelines and you have not been restored to your position or an equivalent one following FMLA leave, you may have a claim. If you are not reinstated to your position following FMLA medical leave, contact our Columbus FMLA attorney.
After a medical leave, your employer does have the right to request a certification that ensures you are physically able to perform the duties of your job. However, an employer may not request certification each time an employee returns to work after intermittent leave. This request can only be made once every 30 days, and if there are reasonable safety concerns regarding the employee’s ability to safely perform their job.
The Three Most Common FMLA Violations
Family and Medical Leave Act violations can come in a number of different forms. Our Columbus, OH FMLA lawyer has seen problems arise during all three stages of the process, including when an employee tries to initially take leave, while the employee is still on leave, and when the employee attempts to return from their leave. Unfortunately, in many cases, employees are not fully aware of their rights under the FMLA. As a result, they may receive and rely on incorrect information from their employer. You need to know if your rights under the FMLA were violated. Three of the most common specific FMLA violations are as follows:
- Denial of Family/Medical Leave: Either mistakenly or intentionally, some Ohio employers improperly attempt to prevent employees from taking family/medical leave under the FMLA. If you were outright denied leave or pressured into staying on the job, your legal rights may have been violated.
- Cutting Benefits or Leave: Another common issue our Ohio FMLA lawyer sees frequently is companies improperly cutting back on an employee’s benefits or trying to force a worker to return from leave earlier than is actually required. Your employer cannot cut you off of a group insurance program — including your health insurance — while you are taking leave under the FMLA.
- Not Allowing Reinstatement: Finally, another huge problem is companies denying workers reinstatement into their previous position. The Family and Medical Leave Act provides job-protected leave to eligible employees. You must be allowed to return from leave. Further, if you face any form of retaliation — meaning punishment for taking leave — your rights have been violated. You should contact an experienced Columbus, OH FMLA attorney immediately.
Contact An Experienced Columbus FMLA Attorney
At Coffman Legal, our Columbus employment law attorney has extensive experience handling the full range of family and medical leave cases. If you have questions related to a medical leave of absence which was due to an illness or a pregnancy, contact our office to speak with a Columbus FMLA attorney.
We can help you understand your rights under the FMLA and our Columbus FMLA attorney will protect you from interference or retaliation. For a free consultation with our top-rated with our Columbus FMLA attorney, please contact us now at 614-949-1181.