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Family and Medical Leave Act Claims

Family and Medical Leave Act Claims

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) guarantees qualified employees the following:

  • The right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off work for the birth or adoption of a child, to act as a caregiver for an ill family member, to recover from one’s own illness, and to attend to issues related t a family member’s deployment;
  • The right to return to one’s original position or a substantially equal position in terms of pay, responsibilities, and benefits; and
  • The right to continue to receive employment benefits while on leave.

When an individual is denied one or more FMLA rights, he or she could be a victim of discrimination. He or she could also be facing a wage-related issue with the employer.

Who is Entitled to Family and Medical Leave?

Individuals who meet the following requirements may take up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave during each 12-month period:

  • He or she has been at the company for at least 12 months;
  • He or she has worked at least 1,250 hours in those 12 months;
  • Qualified workers must be employees, not independent contractors; and
  • The individual’s company must employ 50 or more employees within the surrounding 75 miles.

What Can I Do if I am Denied my Family and Medical Leave?

Speak with your company’s Human Resources department. Before working with a lawyer and involving the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), you should have a paper trail that documents your attempts to resolve the issue with your company.

If your supervisor and Human Resources cannot resolve the issue for you, contact an experienced employment lawyer to discuss filing an EEOC claim. The EEOC will investigate your case and attempt to resolve the issue by facilitating a settlement between you and the company. If this cannot be done, you could have grounds to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your damages.

Other Legal Issues you Can Face Related to FMLA

Being denied the right to take time off is not the only issue an employee can face related to FMLA. An employee might be misclassified as an independent contractor in a company’s attempt to keep him or her from taking advantage of this and other employee rights, like overtime pay. An employee might also be denied the opportunity to continue making use of his or her employment benefits while out of work or have his or her position filled during the leave, denying him or her the opportunity to return to work at the same pay rate and responsibility level.

Work with an Experienced Chicago Employment Lawyer

As an American employee, you have the right to take unpaid time off work to attend to your personal medical needs or those of your family. If you have been denied this right, either outright or if one of your related rights have been violated, speak with an experienced employment lawyer about your options. Contact The Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline today to schedule your initial consultation with us.