Palm Beach Gardens FMLA Attorney
Everyone needs time off from work at some point to care for a personal or family medical emergency. Federal law provides for the ability of certain qualified employees to take job-protected unpaid leave in these circumstances. The law further protects employees from employer retaliation for choosing to exercise these leave rights.
If your employer is not complying with the law or in any way interfering with your rights, a qualified Palm Beach Gardens FMLA attorney can help. At the Sconzo Law Office, P.A., we can represent you if an employer has refused leave or retaliated against you for doing so. In many cases, you can actually bring a civil lawsuit against your employer and recover monetary damages.
Know Your Rights Under FMLA
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) is the federal statute that protects an employee’s right to take time off from work to deal with a personal or family medical situation. FMLA applies to all public employers–including local government agencies such as public schools–and private businesses that employ at least 50 employees within a geographic area. An individual employee is entitled to FMLA leave if they have been employed by a covered employer for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours over the preceding 12 months in a U.S.-based location where at least 50 employees are working for the employer within a 75-mile radius.
An employee may be eligible for up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave. This is unpaid leave, so your employer is not required to pay your normal salary, although they must continue certain benefits such as health insurance. FMLA leave can be taken for any of the following reasons:
- to address a serious health condition of the employee;
- to allow the employee to care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition; or
- to allow the employee to care for a baby after birth or placing the child for adoption.
An employer can require the employee to request leave in advance when the need for time off is “predictable.” If the need is not predictable–i.e., there is a sudden and unexpected medical emergency–the employee must still provide notice to the employer as soon as possible. The employer can further request medical documentation if the employee requests leave to address their own serious medical condition.
But an employer cannot interfere, restrain, or deny any exercise of rights under FMLA. This includes any retaliation. For example, an employer cannot demote an employee who asks for or takes FMLA leave. Nor can the employer take any disciplinary action to retaliate against an employee who complains about an employer’s failure to comply with FMLA.
Contact the Sconzo Law Office Today
There are a number of valid reasons why someone may need to take time off from work under FMLA. If your employer is putting up roadblocks, however, it is in your best interests to speak with a Palm Beach Gardens FMLA attorney who can assist you in asserting your rights under the law. Contact the Sconzo Law Office, P.A., to schedule a complimentary consultation.