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Los Angeles FMLA Attorney

Guidance on FMLA Claims in California

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) states that employees should be eligible to a period of protected and unpaid leave as long as they can illustrate a proper reason for the leave, such as the birth of a child. However, this act and protections only apply to certain companies and the complexities of the law can be very confusing. Many employees are disappointed to see that their employees do not respect FMLA when they are wrongfully denied leave. If you believe that you were qualified to request leave and were denied, the Law Offices of Scott R. Ames can help.

Reach out to us today at (310) 935-0225 to learn about your legal options from a Los Angeles employment lawyer.

Understanding the Qualifications for FMLA

In order to be protected under this act, the company you work for must employ at least 50 employees. Additionally, you must have already worked for 12 months at the company and not work more than 75 miles away from your worksite. You must also have worked at least 1,250 hours before the time that you request FMLA. If all of these factors ring true, you must show that you have a legitimate reason for the leave.

A few examples of reasons which may qualify for FMLA include:

  • You adopted a child or are fostering a child
  • You are caring for a family member who is critically ill
  • You were critically injured or became ill or disabled
  • You have a newborn who requires care

The act states that under its protections, your employer is required to give you the same or a similar position when you come back to work. This would mean the same benefits, pay, and similar responsibilities.

Filing a Lawsuit for FMLA Violations

Employers do not always uphold their legal obligations under the FMLA. There are many ways that employers an accidentally or willfully violate your FMLA rights.

Some examples of FMLA violations include:

  • Not recognizing a valid request as falling under FMLA - Employers can violate the law by disallowing leave for qualifying conditions or not acknowledging the legitimacy of a claim. Additionally, employees do not need to invoke the FMLA specifically to give notice. It is on the employer to know a claim falls under FMLA.
  • Requiring an unreasonable amount of notice - Employers are allowed to develop their own notice policies for workers who want to use paid leave during FMLA leave. However, workers are always eligible for FMLA leave so long as they give legally required notice.
  • Failing to keep employees informed - Employers must keep the employee on leave informed of their rights and obligations. Without this notice, they cannot legally hold an employee to those obligations.
  • Expecting employees to work while on leave - Employers can request status reports while an employee is on leave. However, they cannot force an employee to work during their leave.
  • Disciplining, firing, or harassing employees for taking leave - During the leave period, employers cannot attempt to pressure employees to end their leave prematurely. They also cannot discipline the employee for work not completed due to their leave.
  • Not reinstating employees to an equivalent job upon their return - Employers may not reinstate an employee to a lesser position, nor can they postpone reinstatement. In addition, all benefits must be reinstated for the employee, without needing to wait for open enrollment or other qualifications. Automatic raises during the time the employee was on leave must also be given to the employee.

If you believe your rights under the FMLA were violated by your employer, you can pursue a lawsuit. FMLA violations are subject to a statute of limitations of two years, three if it can be proved the violation was purposeful.

    Protecting Wronged Employees in Los Angeles

    If you were denied leave or told that your job would no longer be there for you after you came back, your employer could be breaking the law by wrongfully terminating your position. At the Law Offices of Scott R. Ames, our Los Angeles employment law attorney is committed to protecting employees whose rights have been violated under the FMLA. Regardless of the circumstances, we are here to look into your situation and provide you with the compassionate representation you deserve.

    To set up a consultation, please give us a call today at (310) 935-0225.

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