FMLA

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West Palm Beach FLMA Lawyers

Everything You Need to Know About the Family Leave & Medical Act

The Family Leave and Medical Act (FLMA) of 1993 offers protections to certain employees when it comes to taking time off work to care of oneself or for one’s family. The FLMA allows for these employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave under certain circumstances.

Have you or someone close to you been through a medical situation that requires leave or reduced hours for a period of time? If you required time off but were denied, terminated, retaliated against, or have otherwise have been discriminated against for putting in a time off request under the FMLA, an attorney may be able to help. At Sconzo Law Office, P.A., our West Palm Beach FMLA lawyers are available to fight for your rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act. We will do whatever is in our power to make sure your legal rights are upheld so you can take care of yourself or your family during this time.

What is the Family & Medical Leave Act?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that first went into effect in 1993. It states that covered employers (see below) must offer up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave without jeopardizing the job status of their employees for certain family and individual medical emergencies. These medical emergencies may include pregnancy, caring for a newborn child, certain adoption or foster care issues, looking after an immediate family member with a serious health condition, and the employee taking care of their own serious health condition. The FMLA allows employees to leave their jobs temporarily or to work a reduced or less stressful schedule, depending on the circumstances.

Protections Under the FMLA

The FMLA entitles eligible employees who work for covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. This leave comes with the continuation of their health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee were still working full time.

The FMLA only applies to employers that meet certain criteria. Covered employers include:

  • Private-sector employers that have or have had 50 or more employees for much of the current or previous calendar year,
  • Public agencies, such as local, state, and federal government agencies, regardless of the number of people it employs, or
  • Any public or private elementary or secondary school.

Eligible employees include those who meet all the following criteria:

  • They work for a covered employer,
  • They have worked for that employer for at least one year,
  • They have worked at least 1,250 hours for the employer during the 12 month period immediately preceding the leave, and
  • They work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.

Those who qualify are entitled to 12 workweeks of leave in a 12 month period for any of the following reasons:

  • Their spouse, child, or parent has a serious health condition and needs to be cared for.
  • They have a serious health condition that makes them unable to perform essential functions of their job.
  • They recently had a child and need to care for it.
  • They recently have taken in a child for adoption or into foster care and need to care for the newly placed child.
  • Any other qualifying exigency arising from the fact that the employee’s spouse, child, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty.”

Covered employees are also entitled to 26 workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness if they are the servicemember’s spouse, child, parent, or next of kin.

How We Can Help

As a federal law, the FMLA employees all around the country. However, even when employees are within their rights to take an extended period of time off, many employers may be reluctant to grant such a long period of leave and attempt to deny or delay the request. In other cases, a worker may be granted an extended leave only to return to work to be mistreated by their boss or coworkers or even fired.

Denying such leave or discriminating against those who take it is illegal under the FMLA. Therefore, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the retaliatory employer if the above has happened to you. Sconzo Law Office, P.A. is an experienced employment law firm that can help you fight back and stand up for your rights. Our West Palm Beach FMLA attorneys would be happy to assess your situation, build you a strong claim, and argue for your rights on your behalf. We will do whatever we can to make the situation right.

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