The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was passed to provide employment leave and protect your employment rights when various unfortunate family situations arise that prevent you from working. Consult an Evansville employment lawyer to see if you and your matter may qualify (or should have qualified) for leave under the FMLA.
The FMLA allows leave for any of the following circumstances: 1) birthing and caring for a newborn child; 2) caring for a new foster or adopted child placed in your care; 3) taking care of yourself due to a serious medical issue that prevents you from performing your essential work duties; or 4) caring for an immediate family member who has encountered a serious medical problem.
However, other requirements must be met in order for an employee to qualify for leave under one of these circumstances. The FMLA only applies to businesses that have more than 50 employees. Also, the employee must have worked for the company for at least 12 months, and worked at least 1,250 hours prior to the leave. Finally, the employee must give proper notice of the requested leave. Typically, 30 days notice is required, or as soon as practical in an emergency situation. Your Evansville employment lawyer can advise you regarding what notice is required, what the allowable forms for the notice are, and who is allowed to provide notice in your situation.
If all of the requirements are met and you give proper notice, then you are entitled to receive up to 12 weeks of unpaid medical leave during a 12-month time period. The FMLA was amended in 2008 to provide special provisions related to persons in the armed services and their immediate family members. If you or a family member is in the armed services, you should discuss with an Evansville employment lawyer your specific situation and learn of the extended benefits provided through the FMLA. Also, at the end of the leave period, the employer must restore the person to the same or equivalent job (i.e., the same pay and benefits), except under specific circumstances that might cause substantial harm to an employer.
If an employer fails to follow the provisions of the FMLA, employees have two primary recourses. You can file a claim with the Labor Board or consult an Evansville employment lawyer to initiate a lawsuit against your employer. It is possible to be compensated in a variety of ways. You could recover economic damages such as lost wages and benefits with interest, or if it is proven that an employer acted in bad faith, they could be ordered to pay you a penalty of up to two times your economic damages. Also, your job could be reinstated, and all of your attorney fees and other court related expenses ordered to be reimbursed.