The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law entitling eligible employees to take unpaid leave needed for specific family and medical reasons. FMLA ensures the employee has job protection and remains eligible for health insurance if the employer provides coverage.
How Does FMLA Work in Indiana?
Any Indiana employer with at least 50 employees for at least 20 weeks in the current or previous year must allow employees to use FMLA leave.
To be eligible for FMLA leave an employee must:
- Have worked for the company for at least a year
- Worked a minimum of 1,250 hours during the previous year
- Work at a location with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius
FMLA leave is available if an employee needs time off to:
- Bond with a new child whether you gave birth to the child, adopted, or are providing foster care
- Recuperate from a serious health condition
- Care for a family member with a serious health condition
- Care for a family member who was injured during military service
The state of Indiana defines a serious health condition as: “An illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that:
- Requires inpatient care
- Causes an incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days and requires continuing treatment by a health care provider
- Is a chronic or long-term condition”
In Indiana, FMLA may run concurrently with worker’s compensation if the injury meets the definition of a serious health condition and the employee is eligible for FMLA.
How Employers Disregard Employee FMLA Rights
- Reject an FMLA leave request from an eligible employee
- Discontinued employees’ health benefits while on FMLA leave
- Retaliate against an employee who has requested or used FMLA. Examples of retaliation include terminating the employee while on leave or upon returning, demoting an employee, or reducing employee wages.
- Treat a female employee unfavorably after returning from FMLA leave she used after having a child. This is called pregnancy discrimination and is also a violation of employment law.
- Refuse to give you your old job back or an equivalent job
- Violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by disciplining an employee for time missed due to a disability
- Pressure an employee to return to work sooner than planned
Evidence Supporting a Claim
It is illegal for an employer to deny an eligible employee unp
id leave under FMLA.
As an employee, it’s your responsibility to prove FMLA eligibility. This may include:
- Documentation from your medical provider certifying that your condition or illness requires continuing treatment.
- Documentation proving you gave your employer the proper amount of notice required before taking FMLA leave.
- A written statement from the doctor of the family member you are caring for, stating the need for a full-time caregiver.
Call an Indiana FMLA Lawyer Today
If you’ve been denied FMLA leave or have been treated unfairly for taking leave, contact an employment law attorney immediately. FMLA claims must be filed within a certain timeframe to be heard in court. If you’re not sure your FMLA rights have been violated, contact our law firm for a consultation, case evaluation, or legal advice.