Employees are sometimes unable to work due to illness. Most of the time, they only require two or three days off. However, there are times when illnesses are so severe, employees need much more time off. When this is the case, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is there to ensure they will have a job when they are well again. This Act protects employees in case they are unable to work due to a serious illness or medical condition.
The FMLA outlines specific provisions pertaining to when an employee is able to take time off, and how much time off he or she can take. It also outlines the responsibilities of employers, such as offering the same or equivalent position and salary upon the employee’s return. Most employers in Evanston respect the Act and abide by its guidelines. When they do not, however, employees should speak to an Evanston FMLA attorney for help.
The Act states that any employee with a health condition requiring treatment by a physician is eligible to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from work in a 12-month period. Employees can take all 12 weeks at the same time, or they can use portions of the 12 weeks at different intervals. Working a reduced schedule is also applicable in some circumstances.
Only certain conditions qualify for the unpaid 12 weeks, as outlined in the Act. These include:
Under the Act, employees are only eligible to take leave to care for certain family members. These include spouses, children, and parents. Any medical leave taken for any person must be serious and must cause the employee to become incapacitated for at least three days.
Unfortunately, not every employee is covered under the FMLA. The Act outlines specific eligibility requirements, which include:
When an employee feels as though an employer has violated his or her rights under FMLA, the employee can file a civil lawsuit to claim compensation. These lawsuits can recover damages for back wages, reimbursement for medical care, job reinstatement, attorney’s fees, and more.
Employees who wish to file an FMLA lawsuit must do so within two years of the incident. Employees who wait longer than this may forfeit their right to recover any compensation through a lawsuit.
The FMLA was passed in 1993 to allow employees to care for themselves or sick family members without fear of losing their jobs. When employees feel these rights have not been upheld, they should speak to an FMLA lawyer in Evanston who can help.
If you feel as though an employer violated your FMLA rights, contact the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline today at (312) 558-1454. We will investigate the claim, determine if you are eligible to recover damages under the Act, and help you throughout the entire process. The Family Medical Leave Act is intended to protect employees when they need it the most. If an employer has failed to provide that protection, we will hold them responsible for their actions.