FMLA Violation Attorneys in Cleveland, Ohio

When can I take family medical leave?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was established to protect American families when planned and unplanned medical situations require employees to take time off from work. Employees who are covered by the FMLA are entitled to job-protected leave in the following situations:

  • Due to their own “serious health condition” that renders them temporarily unable to perform their job duties.
  • To care for a child, spouse, or parent with a serious health condition.
  • Due to childbirth or adoption, and to care for the child during the first year. Leave is also available for pregnancy-related incapacity.
  • To care for a returning member of the Armed Forces under certain circumstances.
  • Due to a qualifying emergency as a result of a child, spouse, or parent being deployed overseas for military service.

Determining whether a qualifying event has occurred can be a complex legal question that requires attention from an experienced lawyer. The Cleveland Family and Medical Leave Act attorneys at Bolek Besser Glesius LLC have experience helping employees navigate their rights during the times when they need help protecting their jobs.

Understanding your right to family and medical leave

Employees covered by the FMLA are those who have experienced one of the qualifying events, have been employed by the employer for at least one year, have worked more than 1,250 hours for the employer over the past 12 months, and who work for an employer with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius.

If an employee is covered, the FMLA allows the employee to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected, leave from work. The FMLA prohibits employers from interfering with the employee’s ability to take FMLA leave. It also forbids employers from firing, demoting, or otherwise retaliating against an employee because the employee has requested or taken FMLA leave.

When leave is granted by the employer, it can be taken all at once or it can be taken in smaller increments of time, known as “intermittent leave.” Once an employee has taken FMLA leave, employers are allowed to calculate the remaining amount of leave in several different ways. Making those calculations can be confusing for employees, who must rely on what they are told by the employer about their FMLA rights.

Helping employees navigate the FMLA and get back to work

The FMLA is a complicated law with precise technical requirements that both the employer and the employee must follow. If the employee fails to follow these requirements, employers might be able to deny protected leave and even fire the employee. One common pitfall concerns notification requirements. Employers can require that employees follow their ordinary call-off procedures when using FMLA leave. Sometimes that means calling multiple people at the company. It is not uncommon for employers to fire employees who fail to follow the call-off procedures.

Employees who return from FMLA are typically entitled to be restored to the position they held before using leave. As a general rule, companies cannot demote an employee on return from leave. There are a few exceptions to this rule though. Figuring out whether they apply in a given situation depends on legal analysis of the unique facts by an employment lawyer.

The FMLA can be confusing and frustrating to navigate. The Cleveland attorneys at Bolek Besser Glesius have helped many employees through medical leave process, and we might be able to do the same for you. If you believe that your rights under the FMLA have been violated or that you have experienced FMLA discrimination and retaliation, we will work with you to get justice.

Contact us or request a free consultation today.