The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a program that allows employees an opportunity to take unpaid leave to care for family related responsibilities. Employees who utilize FMLA are able to balance their personal emergencies and employment knowing that their jobs are protected for qualifying absences. An employee must meet certain criteria regarding length of time worked for the employer and the basic provisions are administered by the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor. Even though the Act has been in place since 1993, there are still common employer FMLA mistakes made that can seriously impact employees who need these protections.
Continuing to Request Work
Leave for family and medical reasons should be self-explanatory, but employers often make the mistake of incorrectly assuming that it is reasonable to expect some work to be completed while an employee is on leave. This work could be in the form of requests to telecommute while on leave or attempting to substitute leave for part time employment or light duty. with a threat of employment related consequences.
Not Monitoring Leave Amount
Employees who utilize FMLA are entitled to a certain amount of time away from their job duties without the threat of job loss. Unfortunately, some employers do not carefully monitor the actual amount of leave that is being requested, especially when the leave is taken intermittently. An employer who is not paying attention to what leave is being taken based on FMLA regulations may incorrectly count a qualifying absence as an absence that is grounds for termination, placing the company at risk of violating federal law.
Untrained managers and companies with unclear leave request procedures can easily find themselves in a situation where a qualifying FMLA request is not completed correctly. Ultimately an employer is responsible for identifying what leaves meet FMLA criteria and the manager or supervisor must make the request. If the request is not made quickly, leave may be delayed and if the request is not correctly identified, an employer may incorrectly issue warnings or threaten the employment status of someone who is protected under the Act. Training managers how to correctly put in requests and ensuring human resources departments can quickly identify FMLA requests protect a company from serious errors.
Employees who feel as though their rights to utilize FMLA have been violated should discuss their concerns with Family Medical Leave Act attorney. A qualified attorney can review your situation, your employer’s history, and give you advice regarding how best to proceed. If you or someone you love fears job loss or other repercussions after correctly using leave guaranteed by federal law, it is best to take immediate steps to protect yourself. The team at HKM Employment Attorneys is prepared to answer your questions and address any concerns that you have. Contact us today at 303-991-3075 to schedule a private consultation at a time that is convenient for you.