The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects employees who need to leave their job for an extended time due to particular circumstances. The circumstances may include:
- To take care of a newborn
- If the worker has a serious medical condition
- If the employee needs to take care of a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition
Under FMLA, employees are eligible for this leave if they work in a firm with at least 50 employees and have worked for the employer for at least a year or 1,250 hours. The FMLA allows for a maximum of leave of 12 weeks a year. This is unpaid leave but the employer should still give you your health insurance benefits. The EEOC does not govern FMLA.
When to File an FMLA Complaint
Not every employer is aware of FMLA protection. Some employers also fail to follow the act’s provisions.
In Virginia, you can seek compensation if your employer fails to uphold your rights to FMLA. For example, you will have a case if the employer:
- Rejects a valid request for an FMLA leave
- Orders you to come back before your FMLA leave is due
- Fails to reinstate you to your former job position
In such instances, they are two ways to seek compensation:
File Your Complaint With the U.S. Department of Labor
The Wage and Hour Division, which is part of the Labor Department, will carry out investigations to confirm your complaint. The office is allowed by the Department of Labor to interview people who may be witnesses to the illegal conduct. Offices from the division may also physically visit your work premises to carry out investigations.
The office has the power to issue a ruling and demand your employer to compensate you.
File a Complaint in Court
The FMLA allows employees who feel deprived of their FMLA rights to take their case to the U.S. District Court or a local court in their state. In this case, you will have to file a complaint, carry out investigations, and go to trial.
An FMLA claims lawyer in Arlington, Virginia can give you legal advice on how to handle a complaint. It would be best if you acted quickly as there is a limited timeframe for filing an FMLA complaint. If you choose to go to court, an experienced FMLA claims attorney will help you file a complaint on time, conduct investigations, and represent you during the trial.
HKM Employment Attorneys LLP represents clients in Arlington as well as Northern Virginia communities such as Alexandria, McLean, and Fairfax. Contact us to schedule a Consultation with one of our employment law attorneys. We’ll help you decide how to proceed with an FMLA claim.