According to the Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory, major personal injury or illness ranks as one of the top life stressors a person can experience with the major change in health of a family member falling not far behind. When a person is dealing with medical emergencies, or even the birth of a child, the stress can impact a person’s ability to focus on work tasks. The intent of the 1993 Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is to alleviate the feeling an employee has that their job is at risk because they are putting their family’s medical needs first. The FMLA does not grant paid leave, but it does offer an employee unpaid leave with the mandate that they are kept on the same medical plan while away from work for any FMLA reason. If an employer violates the FMLA, the Toledo Family and Medical Leave Act attorneys of Coffman Law, LLC can help an employee hold them accountable and seek compensation.

What Protections are Offered by the Family Medical Leave Act

It is important to note that not every employee is covered by the FMLA. As U.S. News reports, only employers with 50 or more employees for at least 20 weeks in the current or previous year have to follow the FMLA. If the employer has multiple locations, your workplace must have at least 50 employees either at that facility or within 75 miles to be eligible. Finally, even if an employer follows the FMLA, an employee only becomes eligible after one year during which they must have worked 1,250 hours. Those who are covered by the FMLA are provided the following protections:

  • Their same job when they return from leave;
  • Same wages and benefits; and
  • Assuming they had an employer-sponsored healthcare plan, it must remain the same during the leave period.

Leave Reasons Covered by the FMLA

  • Twelve workweeks of leave within a 12-month period for:
    • Caring for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious illness or injury;
    • Birth of a child;
    • Adoption of a child;
    • A serious personal health condition that impact their ability to work;
    • Qualifying exigencies because the employee’s spouse, child, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty;”
  • 26 workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a servicemember (who is the employee’s spouse, child, parent, or next of kin) who has a serious health problem.
In some cases, an employee may take the leave all at once. However, the leave can also be split over time as necessary or taken in the form of a reduced work schedule.

Contact a Toledo Family and Medical Leave Act Attorney

Employers can violate the FMLA by firing you for asking for leave that is protected, by taking away medical benefits during leave, by reducing your wages upon return, or retaliating against you. Some employers may intentionally break the law while others simply may not be informed of the policies. Regardless, employers who violate the FMLA add stress and financial worry at a time when you are already managing your family’s health. If your employee has violated the FMLA, the skilled Toledo attorneys at Coffman Legal, LLC can assist you in recovering damages such as lost wages or benefits. Call us today at 612-949-1181 to schedule your free consultation today.

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