Many Cook County employees enjoy benefits like paid time off and flexible schedules when needed. For the most part, employers sponsor such initiatives out of economic necessity and not a sense of generosity, so these programs have limits. Furthermore, many River Forest workers have none of these benefits. So, it is almost impossible to balance work and family obligations.
The Family Medical Leave Act is designed for these kinds of workers, but without an aggressive attorney, like Mitchell Kline, the FMLA is nothing but ink on paper. Our dedicated professional team maximizes FMLA and other federal benefits for workers, so you have the tools you need to be not only a good worker but also a good person.
Certain federal laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, protect workers who need some extra time off, or some other accommodation, to do their jobs properly. Just like private time-off programs, the ADA has its limits. So, to give workers more options, lawmakers passed the Family Medical Leave Act. Essentially, the FMLA applies to all employees with at least 12 months of service with a company that has at least 50 employees. Additionally, the employee must have at least 1,250 hours of service (about 25 hours a week) during the preceding year.
To claim FMLA leave, the employee must have a qualifying condition. In some cases, employers can demand verification before granting unpaid leave. The qualifying conditions are:
In many cases, intermittent FMLA leave may be available. For example, many people who deal with serious injuries or illnesses have good days and bad days. On a bad day, they may need to leave work early, come in late, or they may be unable to work at all.
Most employers hate FMLA, and they hate intermittent FMLA even more. Disputes are quite common.
Many times, these disputes involve the employer’s rights under FMLA. Employers cannot only request certification as mentioned above. They may also demand frequent recertification and deny leave if the FMLA situation does not affect an essential job function.
Employees who establish an FMLA violation by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) may be entitled to substantial damages. Common FMLA violations include the failure to grant or extend leave and retaliatory acts, up to including termination. Some common remedies include:
Additionally, if the employer willfully violated the FMLA, an additional liquidated damages clause may apply, doubling the compensation that the victim receives.
The federal FMLA gives employees like you important rights. For a free consultation with an experienced employment law attorney in River Forest, contact the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline. After-hours visits are available.