Los Angeles Family Medical Leave (FMLA) Attorney
In previous years, when a person left work for an extended period of time for family or medical reasons, he or she may have returned to find his or her position no longer available. Since 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has eliminated this concern for American employees and guarantees that they can return to their jobs if they are forced to leave work to handle a medical or family-related issue.
Family and Medical Leave Act laws establish several requirements for employers, and there are federal and state-level standards that must be taken into account. It is a good idea for all American employees to understand FMLA and its related laws and what to do in case of a violation. You should always report a violation to the EEOC and your HR department, then you should contact a Los Angeles Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) lawyer.
What Does FMLA Protect?
FMLA laws typically apply to one-year periods, as one year is deemed an appropriate timeframe to handle most family or medical matters. Employers covered by FMLA must permit employees 12 workweeks of leave for certain situations and allow them to return to the same position with the same terms and conditions once the situation has been resolved or addressed.
Some examples of situations that would entitle an employee to FMLA benefits include:
- The birth of a child as well as newborn care during the child’s first year of life.
- Arranging adoption or foster care for a child.
- Caring for an immediate family member’s serious health condition, such as a child, spouse, or parent. Qualification concerning ill children typically only applies for children under the age of 18; however, if the illness renders a child incapable of performing basic living activities, FMLA may be extended to care for children over the age of 18.
- Any serious health condition that renders the employee unable to continue working, such as chemotherapy treatment for cancer.
- Caring for the illness or injury of an immediate family member who is an active duty service member (the window for leave is extended to 26 weeks in these cases).
Employers choose how to calculate an employee’s FMLA leave, and covered employers may select:
- One calendar year
- A fixed leave year of any 12-month period (employers commonly select the employee’s date of hire or the company’s fiscal year)
- Twelve months from the date FMLA leave begins
- Twelve months preceding the date when FMLA leave begins
FMLA does not guarantee pay. Employees may have disability benefits to secure partial wages during leave. Other types of leave can count toward an employee’s FMLA allotment as well, such as workers’ compensation and short-term disability.
Employer Obligations for FMLA Leave in California
Most employers must follow FMLA leave guidelines if they employ a certain amount of employees. Additionally, employers must continue to pay for any medical benefits that the employee has through the company. Some employers will require an employee to use accrued paid leave before FMLA leave begins.
Navigating an FMLA claim can be complex, and employers are limited in the amount of proof that they may require to approve FMLA leave. For example, if you contract a serious illness and treatment demands that you stay home from work, you may need to provide proof of your diagnosis. However, your employer cannot demand to see your private medical records.
Know Your Options for an FMLA Lawsuit
FMLA is a federal standard meant to protect employees’ jobs when they need time to handle personal or health-related matters. If employers violate an employee’s right to FMLA leave, the employer can be held liable for violations of both federal and California state law. If you have encountered difficulties or resistance for filing a request for FMLA leave, you need to connect with a reliable, established legal professional to handle your case.
At Mathew & George, our Los Angeles family medical leave attorneys are committed to advocating our clients’ rights under FMLA laws. When employers violate these laws, they need to be held accountable. Employees who qualify for FMLA leave must be allowed to do so. If you have questions about California’s FMLA laws or have recently encountered an issue with your employer, call us to schedule a free consultation. We will review the details of your situation and inform you of your legal options.