Proper work-life balance, particularly regarding health issues, is important to both employers and employees. Typically, workers can set aside such concerns and effectively focus on their jobs. When they need assistance in this area, the Family Medical Leave Act usually helps restore this balance.
The FMLA gives workers in the following situations some important rights. These rights include up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. While workers are away, as long as they pay their portions, their employers must keep their benefits, such as health insurance, in force. When these workers return, they must receive their old jobs back with no questions asked. Alternatively, returning workers are entitled to another position with the same salary, benefits, and responsibility level.
Employers typically dislike the FMLA. So, these workers often need to partner with Chicago employment discrimination lawyers in order to protect their rights. Frequently, once employers know that workers have legal representation, they back off any threats to terminate or discipline workers for missing work.
Many employers offer paid parenting leave time. Frequently, however, this leave time is only available to biological mothers and also limited to a few weeks.
Under the FMLA, both mothers and fathers can take up to twelve weeks off to be with new children. That includes both biological and adoptive children. Additionally, in the latter instance, FMLA leave covers time off for things like home studies and court appearances. The same thing applies to foster children.
Generally, employees must give at least 30 days’ notice before they go on birth-related leave. This notice usually must include an estimated return date. If that return date changes, the employee must give at least 30 days’ notice, assuming the change is foreseeable.
Illness or Injury Recovery
Frequently, the Americans with Disability Act gives people the right to reasonable on-the-job accommodations and other such items when they are seriously ill or injured. The ADA only applies in limited situations. FMLA leave, however, is usually always available. Workers who have been on the job for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1250 hours during that period (about 25 hours a week) are usually eligible for unpaid leave.
Employers can usually require employees to produce a doctor’s note before they approve FMLA leave. Furthermore, employers usually have the right to request recertification after 30 days. Once again, employers must keep health insurance policies in force during this leave time, if the employee pays the noncovered premium portion.
Address a Deployment-Related Emergency
Military call-ups and deployment orders often come with little or no notice. When that happens, someone usually must take care of things like home sales and child care. If there is no one else to perform these tasks, FMLA leave is generally available.
Care for an Ill or Injured Family Member
FMLA leave is not just personal leave. If an immediate family member (child, parent, or spouse) has a medical need, FMLA leave is also available. Roughly the same rules discussed above apply in these situations.
Moreover, illness/injury FMLA leave is often intermittent. These individuals frequently have good days and bad days. Generally, employees have the right to parcel out their FMLA leave on an as-needed basis.
Ill/Injured Service Member
If anyone related by blood or marriage is struggling with illness or injury recovery and that person is an active service member, FMLA leave is available. Employers can ask for multiple medical opinions before approving unpaid leave. However, they must pay for these evaluations and their right to request them is not unlimited.
Contact an Assertive Lawyer
The Family Medical Leave Act is often a lifeline for employees who need assistance. For a free consultation with an experienced Chicago employment discrimination attorney, contact the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline. Home and after-hours visits are available.