Whether you are an employee or an employer in Illinois, it is essential to understand your rights and responsibilities under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). A wide range of Illinois employers are covered by the FMLA, and many employees can be eligible to take job-protected leave through the FMLA each year. When you learn the basics of FMLA law, it is important to understand what the law provides, who is covered and eligible, and what steps can be taken to remedy FMLA violations. An experienced Illinois employment lawyer at our firm can tell you more.
Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is one of a number of federal laws that provides protections to certain employees in the United States. Although not all employees are eligible for leave under the FMLA, this federal law does cover many employees in Illinois and across the country. The FMLA provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave to provide care for yourself or for a family member with an eligible medical condition or in specific circumstances. FMLA leave is appropriate after childbirth or when a child is placed for foster care or adoption, when the employee is sick, or when a close family member is sick and requires the employee’s care.
FMLA Coverage and Eligibility
How does an employee know if his or her worker is covered by the FMLA, thus allowing the employee to request FMLA leave? It is important to understand that there are requirements for an employer to be covered, and then there are separate eligibility requirements that an employee must meet. For private-sector employers, the employer is covered if it has 50 or more employees that work for 20 or more workweeks over the calendar year. For public-sector employers, there is generally no required number of employees for that employer to be covered (and most public employers are covered), but it is important to seek advice from an FMLA attorney if you are unsure or have questions.
Once an employee knows that his or her employer is covered, how does the employee know if she or he is eligible for FMLA leave? For an employee working for a covered employer to be eligible for FMLA leave, the employee must have been working for the employer for the last 12 months or more, must have worked at least 1,250 hours within the last year, and must work at a location where the employer has 50 or more employees working within a 75-mile radius.
FMLA Violation Remedies
Multiple remedies may exist for an FMLA violation. By filing a claim, you may be eligible for:
- FMLA leave if you were denied it;
- Rehiring to your original position if you were wrongful terminated; and/or
- Money damages.
Contact an FMLA Employment Law Attorney in Illinois
Do you have questions about the FMLA or your rights as an employee under Illinois state or federal law? An experienced Illinois FMLA lawyer at our firm can speak with you today and provide you with more information. Whether you simply need assistance determining FMLA eligibility or responsibilities, or you need to file a claim against an employer for an FMLA violation, our firm is here to assist you. Contact the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline for more information.