The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 gives workers the right to take leave time for certain qualifying family needs and protects their right to return to their jobs. Unfortunately, some employers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area violate this federal law by retaliating against workers who exercise this right. If you were fired after taking approved leave, you may be entitled to damages including lost wages, financial losses, court costs, and reasonable attorney fees from your ex-employer.
What Are Your Rights Under the Family and Medical Leave Act?
The FMLA applies to public agencies and companies with 50 or more employees, as long as 50 of those employees work within 75 miles of the affected employee. The person requesting leave must have worked for the company for at least 12 months (although it need not be consecutive) and must have worked 1,250 hours in the previous year to be eligible. Employees are entitled to unpaid leave for up to 12 weeks in a 12-month period for the following reasons:
● Birth of a child within one year of the baby’s birth
● Adoption of a child or placement of a foster child in the employee’s home within one year of the placement
● Serious medical condition that prevents a worker from performing his/her job
● Serious medical condition of a spouse, child, or parent
● Qualifying circumstances of a spouse, child, or parent who is in active military service
A person can take unpaid leave under the FMLA in a continuous block or, in certain situations, through intermittent periods of leave. He or she is entitled to health insurance while off work, but may have to continue to pay health insurance premiums out of pocket, unless the employer was already paying the premiums as part of the employee’s compensation.
FMLA Protects You Against Retaliation for Taking Leave Time
The Family and Medical Leave Act protects against interference with your right to take leave, such as denying a legitimate request or requesting excessive proof of the reason for leave time. The law also protects against employer retaliation. Examples of retaliation may include:
● Allowing you to take time off and to return to work under the FMLA, but firing you a week or two later for a non-legitimate reason
● Firing you when your employer knows that you will request leave time in the near future
● Terminating you without cause while you are on leave
Contact Attorney Walt Taylor for Help
Were you fired for taking leave time under the FMLA? You need an experienced employment law attorney in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to protect your rights. To learn more about attorney Walt Taylor’s experience in these cases and how he can help you, call our office to schedule your free consultation.