As a worker, you have multiple protections afforded to you under both state and federal law. Some of the most wide-ranging protections come from the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This federal law guarantees unpaid time off from your job without fear of negative consequences for certain purposes, such as a medical condition, pregnancy, the birth of a child, and other family and medical-related issues. However, FMLA leave can cost employers money given that they might have to train other employees to fill your position or temporarily hire someone else to perform your duties. This can sometimes motivate them to act against you in an illegal fashion.
There are many actions that your employer is prohibited from conducting under the FMLA. To start, it is illegal for them to try to interfere or restrain your ability to take leave under the FMLA. Also, an employer cannot retaliate against you for taking approved leave under the FMLA. Doing so may be considered discrimination. When it comes to specific acts, the following are prohibited:
- Refusing leave that should be authorized
- Manipulating your work record or hours worked to affect FMLA eligibility
- Looking upon FMLA leave negatively in a way that affects employment decisions
- Counting FMLA as some other type of leave that could affect your employment
Gathering evidence to protect your rights
If you’ve been denied your rights under the FMLA, then you need to consider taking legal action. Doing so could lead to the restoration of your position and entitle you to compensation that you deserve. Succeeding on one of these claims can be challenging, though, which is why you have to be as diligent as possible as far as gathering evidence to support your claim. Obtain as much documentation as you can to show your work history, your FMLA request, how you qualified for leave, and your employer’s responses. Witness testimony can also be key.
Find support standing up for yourself
Going up against your employer can be intimidating. But you don’t have to face it alone. Instead, you can work together with an attorney who knows employment law and how to utilize it to your advantage.