The Family and Medical Leave Act, also known as the FMLA, is a law passed by Congress and implemented in 1993. It created a program that gives workers in all states a baseline level of protection in cases of family emergency due to sickness, or in situations where people are giving birth to a child.
However, many states have taken steps to increase the level of protection afforded during these difficult times. Unfortunately, Tennessee is not one of them. Still, the federal laws do apply and people have the right to take advantage of these benefits. When employers prevent workers from exercising these rights, the worker may sue to protect themselves in federal court.
Our Nashville Family and Medical Leave Act attorneys work to represent these people in their cases to obtain their proper benefits and to hold the violating companies responsible. To discuss your case or schedule a consultation with our employment lawyers today.
Contrary to popular belief, not all workplaces are required to provide FMLA benefits to their employees. The law only covers workplaces that employ 50 or more employees within 75 miles of the employee’s worksite. Therefore, many small businesses are not required to follow these mandates.
These employment requirements apply whether the workplace is a private company or a public institution.
Further, the employee must have worked at the company for a minimum of 12 months and for 1250 hours over the last year in order to qualify. These restrictions combine to prevent many part-time workers and employees for small companies from taking advantage of this program.
As a Nashville family and medical leave act attorney can explain, the program is intended to allow people who are facing a major illness or change in family structure to take time off of work with the knowledge that their job will be waiting for them upon return. Specifically, there are a few major examples that fit into these categories. They include:
If a worker knows that they will need to take this time off of work, they must inform their employer at least 30 days prior to taking leave.
The potential benefits include the right to return to work at essentially the same status as a person had when they left. The worker must return to the same position with the same pay and benefits if available.
In addition, the worker is entitled to retain the same benefit packages that they had before the leave. This leave can last for up to 12 weeks but it will be entirely unpaid.
Any violations of the FMLA by an employer can be investigated by the Department of Labor. While this organization has the power to punish the workplace for any wrongdoing, it cannot directly compensate the worker.
In order for a worker to regain any lost wages and hold the workplace responsible, they must file their own lawsuit in civil court.
Our Nashville Family and Medical Leave Act attorneys represent clients in exactly these actions. However, there is a limited time to file a claim. If your right to take a family leave has been denied, contact our firm today.