Houston Medical Leave and FMLA Violation Lawyer

If an employee meets certain requirements, they are entitled to the right to take time off work without fear of losing their job and benefits. The FMLA allows workers to seek unpaid leave for certain health conditions and caretaking responsibilities. This law is extremely beneficial to employees who meet its criteria, as it allows them to balance their work and personal/family life. Unfortunately, not all employers understand the rights provided under the FMLA and may even willfully violate them. If this is the case, you should speak with an employment lawyer right away. Our Houston attorneys at Reich & Binstock know what it takes to defend your rights. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

The FMLA is the Family and Medical Leave Act, which is an unpaid leave that is available to workers of companies with 50 or more employees. It’s a guaranteed labor law that gives employees the right to take an extended leave of absence from work without fear of negative repercussions. Instances that may constitute an employee using the FMLA include contracting an illness, the birth or adoption of a child, or caring for a sick family member. The FMLA also covers military caregiving and other emergencies related to the active duty service of a family member. 

The FMLA applies to public agencies, local education agencies, and private-sector employers with 50 or more employees. The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) enforces the FMLA for all private, state, and local government employees as well as some federal employees. The WHD will also investigate any complaints issued and work to satisfactorily resolve them. If the reported violations cannot be resolved, the U.S. Department of Labor will bring civil action in court to urge compliance. Private civil action may also be taken by an employee.

Violating the rights provided under the FMLA can result in legal repercussions for the at-fault employer. Examples of FMLA violations include:

  • Interfering with, restraining, or denying an employee’s exercise of any FMLA right
  • Discrimination or retaliation against an employee or applicant for having exercised (or attempted to exercise) their FMLA rights
  • Termination or discriminating against a person for: 
    • Opposing an unlawful practice under the FMLA
    • Filing a charge or proceeding related to the FMLA
    • Giving information in connection with an inquiry or proceeding regarding FMLA
    • Testifying or participating in an inquiry or proceeding regarding FMLA

There are some circumstances where an employer can deny FMLA leave. If there are fewer than 50 employees at a company, the FMLA rules that employers do not have to provide these benefits. You can also be denied FMLA leave if you don’t meet the proper qualifications and requirements. To qualify for family or medical leave, the employee must have been employed at the company for at least 12 months with 1,250 working hours under their belt. 

An employee may also be denied if they don’t fall into a category of eligible need. Categories of eligible need include:

Contracting a serious illness or dealing with a medical condition
Birth of a child and newborn care
Adoption of a child
Caring for a family member with a serious illness or medical condition

If you meet all these requirements and your employer still denies your request for leave, they are in violation of your legal rights. In this case, you should speak with an experienced attorney ASAP.

There are two options for FMLA, each granted under certain circumstances. One is for 12 workweeks of leave in a calendar year and the other is for 26 workweeks of leave in a calendar year.

12 workweeks in 12 months

This option grants 12 weeks of leave in one year. The family or medical situations that this option applies to include:

  • Maternity leave for the birth of a child
  • The adoption of a child or placement of a foster child in the employee’s home
  • A spouse, parent, or child has a serious health condition that requires consistent caregiving
  • The employee has a serious health condition that affects his or her work performance
  • Military service emergency

26 workweeks in 12 months 

This option grants 26 weeks of leave in one year. It is often described as “military caregiver leave.” This leave is reserved for employees taking care of a seriously ill or injured covered service member. The service member must be related to the employee, either their spouse, child, parent, or next of kin.

Contact a Houston Labor and Employment Lawyer Today

At Reich & Binstock, we handle various types of civil litigation cases involving labor and employment, including medical leave and FMLA violations. Our Texas attorneys have the skill, experience, and dedication it takes to fight for workers and their rights provided under the FMLA. If you believe your rights to FMLA have been wrongfully interfered with or denied, reach out to Attorneys at Law Reich & Binstock today. Give us a call at our Houston office: 713-622-7271 or 800-622-7271 toll free. You can also fill out our online intake form here for your free case consultation.

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