Detroit Family & Medical Leave Act Violation (FMLA) Lawyers
When you suffer an illness or injury, or a family member gets sick and needs your help to get better, you have plenty of things to deal with. Worrying about losing your job should not be one of them. That is why federal law protects eligible workers from termination or other adverse employment actions if they need to take time off to care for themselves or a loved one. When employers fail to understand or comply with their obligations to provide such leave or violate the rights of their employees under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), affected workers can take action to assert their rights and preserve their livelihoods.
If you believe that your employer has violated your FMLA rights or put your job at risk because of a medical issue that required you to take legally-protected leave, you have allies and advocates at Sommers Schwartz. Our experienced and committed Michigan employment law attorneys understand that nothing is more important than your health and well-being and that of your family. That is why we aggressively push back on employers who disregard their employees’ rights, getting them the justice and protection they deserve.
What Is the FMLA?
The Family & Medical Leave Act protects employees while they deal with family or medical situations that take them from the workplace for an extended period, either in a single block of time or intermittently. The FMLA provides eligible workers with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave a year, mandates the continuation of group health insurance benefits during the leave as if employee was still working, and entitles a worker to return to their same or an equivalent job at the end of their leave.
Who Is Covered by the FMLA?
The FMLA applies to private and public employers with 50 or more employees. To be eligible to take leave under the law, an employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and put in at least 1,250 non-overtime hours throughout the year immediately preceding the first day of leave. The employee also must work in a location that has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.
The 12 months of employment do not need to be consecutive for the employee to qualify and may be impacted by breaks in service due to military obligations or under a collective bargaining or other written agreement.
Reasons You Can Take Family and Medical Leave.
An eligible employee may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for any of the following reasons:
- Birth of a child
- Adoption of a child
- Foster care placement of a child
- Recovery from a serious health condition, including illness, injury impairment, or other physical or mental condition
- Care of an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition
Employees do not need to take the allowable 12 weeks of leave consecutively and can take time off intermittently as necessary.
Ways Employers Can Violate Employees’ FMLA Rights
Employers cannot prevent eligible employees from taking FMLA leave, nor can they take any adverse actions in response to an employee’s request for such leave. Employers can violate the FMLA in many ways, including:
- Refusing to authorize a leave of absence
- Manipulating an employee’s schedule to affect eligibility
- Dissuading an employee from taking leave
- Threatening an employee if they take leave
- Ceasing healthcare coverage for the employee
- Pressuring the employee to come back to work earlier than needed
- Retaliating against an employee who seeks to enforce their FMLA rights by filing a complaint and cooperating with the Wage & Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor) or for bringing private action in court
- Termination or any adverse employment action, such as negative reviews, denial of promotion, or reduced job responsibilities
Protecting Workers’ Rights to Care for Their Families
If your employer has violated your rights under the FMLA, the law provides you with powerful remedies, including the recovery of economic losses, liquidated damages doubling the amount of economic losses for intentional violations, job reinstatement, and recoupment of your attorney fees and costs.
At Sommers Schwartz, our employment law attorneys stand up for workers who face unfair and illegal treatment when they need to care for themselves or their families. We fight tirelessly to protect their rights and their jobs, and have recovered substantial compensation for FMLA violations.
If you have questions or concerns about your FMLA rights or believe you have received unfair treatment because of requesting or taking leave, please contact the employment law attorneys at Sommers Schwartz today.