When family emergencies, including medical emergencies, happen, many Cincinnati employees are concerned that they will lose their job for taking time off work. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protective leave for specific family and medical reasons. Before the passage of FMLA, employers would routinely fire employees who needed to take time off of work for surgery, medical issues, and other emergencies, including caring for loved ones. The FMLA protects eligible employees from being retaliated against, fired, or discriminated against for needing to take time off of work due to medical issues and family emergencies.
Fighting for the Rights of Cincinnati Employees
If you are eligible to take up to 12 weeks off of work through the FMLA, it’s essential that you understand your rights. If you’re an employer tries to discriminate against you, retaliate against you, or fire you for taking FMLA to leave, it’s essential that you discuss your case with an attorney. The HKM Employment Attorneys know how to hold employers accountable when they violate employees’ FMLA rights. Contact HKM Employment Attorneys to schedule a Casey valuation and learn more about your rights and how we can fight for them.
Understanding the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Congress enacted the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in 1993. The FMLA allows workers at eligible companies to take 12 full weeks of unpaid leave in the following circumstances:
- The birth of a newborn child
- The adoption of a child
- The care of an immediate family member with a serious health condition
- An employee’s serious health condition
- To care for a family member who was injured while on active military duty
- To assist with transiting the employee or the employee’s spouse who is called to active military duty
Some states have implemented paid leave policies, but Ohio still needs to enact additional protections. In Cincinnati, Ohio, employees are limited to enforcing their rights under the FMLA. When an employee is expecting to be able to take unpaid leave and is denied this option or retaliated against for taking time off of work, it can cause serious problems. If you have been wrongly denied paid leave under FMLA, it is crucial that you discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible.
Do I Qualify for Unpaid Leave Under the FMLA?
Not every employee is protected under the FMLA in Ohio. Your company must only comply with the FMLA if it employs 50 or more employees or if you work for a private elementary, secondary school, or public agency. All 50 or more employees must work within 75 miles of your site. You will also need to have worked for your employer for at least one year and at least 1,250 hours during that year. You will also need a qualifying reason for taking the FMLA leave, such as a serious health condition you or your family member might have. The FMLA Law requires your employer to continue providing health care benefits while on FMLA leave.
Having a baby is not the only medical condition protected by FMLA. If you adopt a child or become a foster parent, you may also be entitled to time off. The FMLA also provides time off for your illness or that of a family member suffering from a serious health condition. If you are responsible for caring for your loved one or yourself, you may be entitled to FMLA leave.
What Type of Leave is Available Under the FMLA?
Qualified employees are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave during any 12-month period. However, employees do not have to use the full 12 weeks at one time. If an employee has a health condition, such as cancer, that requires them to take time off periodically for treatment for a shorter time, intermittent leave may be available. Intermittent leaves allow you to split the 12 weeks into smaller chunks. If you plan on using intermittent leave, it is important that you inform your employer as soon as you know when you are required to take time off of work.
Employers Cannot Terminate Employment When Employees are using FMLA Leave
No, generally employers cannot fire or demote an employee for taking FMLA leave. The FMLA requires an employer to hold the employee’s job for the duration of the leave and maintain the employee’s benefits for the entire leave period. If the employee is taking leave for a covered event and the FMLA covers the employer, the employer cannot fire the employee.
Tips for Taking FMLA Leave
If you need to take FMLA leave, but you are concerned about being retaliated against, speaking to an attorney can help you understand your rights. It can also be important to review your employer’s FMLA policy if they have one and follow their guidelines when applying for FMLA leave. You can also consult with your human resources department to ensure you are following all the required procedures. It is also important to be careful about what you post on social media. Employees who take FMLA leave for qualifying reasons could be accused of dishonesty based on their social media posts being misconstrued and used against them.
The Benefits of Hiring a Skilled FLMA Attorney
FMLA protects employees who must take time off work for qualified medical and family matters. However, the law can be complex, and the regulations involved can be challenging to decipher. HKM Employment Attorneys can help you protect your rights. a serious medical condition shouldn’t be the basis for discrimination, determination, or retaliation. We will evaluate whether you have a valid claim for FMLA leave and help you enforce your rights, including getting you reinstated back to work after your FMLA leave.
Discuss Your Case with a Cincinnati FMLA Attorney
If you have questions about whether you are eligible for FMLA leave or your employer has taken negative action against you because you attempted to use your leave, contact HKM Employment Attorneys. We will carefully review your case, answer any questions you have, and help you understand your FMLA rights.
Call 513-822-4024, schedule a call, or fill out this form and we will get back to you ASAP.