Finding the perfect balance between work and family is a challenge. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was put in place to allow employees to take some time off work and attend to pressing personal issues. These issues may include taking care of sick family members, resolving personal disputes, and other family obligations. However, failure to understand your rights within the act could land you in legal issues or conflicts with your employer. Here are some of the legal advice and issues that Atlanta FMLA lawyers handle.
One of the biggest challenges that employees face when trying to get some time off to tend to their families is eligibility. There is a list of limited leave reasons covered by the law. These include:
- When you are a parent involved in the birth, adoption or placement of a child into foster care
- If you or a close family member is suffering from a serious health condition
- Emergencies that arise from a family member getting deployed in the military
- If you need to take care of a family member that has injuries resulting from military service
- These are the four basic reasons where FMLA law applies. Note that in cases like personal sickness, it might be easier to apply for medical leave instead.
How Employers Disregard Employee FMLA Rights
Employers get into a lot of trouble with the law when they disregard the FMLA rights of their employees. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) aims to prevent FMLA violations. Sometimes, problems arise because employees are not able to recognize serious health conditions affecting employees or their families. They therefore deny leave to the employees. For example, an employee suffering from the flu may not qualify for this leave, but if it deteriorates into something serious, this leave is within their rights.
Employers also make the mistake of disciplining their employees for excessive absenteeism. In most cases, employment law stipulates the length of time an employee is allowed to be absent, and when they exceed the number, employers enforce discipline. The Labor Department and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) let employees take time away from work while disabled, or until they get better.
Evidence Supporting a Claim
As an employee, your responsibility is to gather and offer the evidence your employer needs to ascertain that you deserve FMLA leave. The Labor Department considers it employment discrimination when a deserving employee is denied unpaid leave. Eligible employees should, therefore, talk to a healthcare provider and get written evidence that they need time away from work. If the issue cannot be resolved within the workplace, hire a law firm to represent your interests.
Contact Our FMLA Lawyers
HKM Employment Attorneys is an Atlanta law firm specializing in employment law and related practice areas. We offer real and practical solutions for all issues related to employment contracts and leave agreements. If you feel that you were mistreated by your employer and that this leave was within your rights, you can talk to our competent employment attorneys. Whether your job is in Roswell, Alpharetta, or Decatur, we will help you organize the needed evidence and guide your path to resolution.