The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is federal legislation that allows eligible employees to take a leave of absence for illness, to provide care for sick family members, and to address other health-related situations. The California Family Rights Act contains comparable state statutes that conform to FMLA provisions. While the FMLA provides a federal minimum for the amount of leave that employers must provide for their employees, states are able to enact their own complementary laws, which can be even more comprehensive than what is provided under the federal law. This is the case with Oregon; the state’s Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) covers a wider range of employers, and includes more reasons for which an employee can take time off from work.
Employees who have exercised their rights under FMLA and/or OFLA/CMRA can experience retaliation by their employers through termination or other adverse actions. If your FMLA benefits have been denied, or if your employer has retaliated against you after you exercised your FMLA or OFLA leave rights, contact a Portland employment law attorney to discuss your situation and legal options. Types of retaliation can include unfair or adverse treatment; denial of benefits, being demoted, fired or forced to perform a new job when you return from your FMLA leave.
Video – Family Medical Leave Act in Oregon
Portland Employment Lawyer
Under the Federal Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employers with more than 50 employees are required to grant employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off with health benefits for the following purposes:
- You are unable to work due to an illness
- Pregnancy complications
- To care for a newborn child
- To place a child for adoption or foster care
- To take care of an immediate family with a serious health issue such as a spouse, child or parent
The Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA), expands the protections provided by the FMLA. Under the OFLA employers with more than 25 employees are required to provide employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid time of with health benefits for most of the same reasons as under the FMLA. However, the OFLA provides additional qualifying reasons for time off, including child sick leave (time off to care for a sick child who does not have a serious health condition, but requires home care). The OFLA also has a much broader definition of “immediate family” than the FMLA does. While the FMLA’s definition includes only spouses, children, and the employees’ parents, the OFLA’s includes: grandparents and grandchildren, parents-in-law, same-gender domestic partners, and the children and parents of same-gender domestic partners.
On the other hand, the FMLA (but not the OFLA) allows for 26 weeks of leave for an employee who has to care for a seriously ill or injured service member or veteran. The FMLA also provides “exigency leave” for employees who need to deal with a family member being called to active military duty.
Not only can you take a leave of absence for these purposes, your job is also safeguarded. If you believe you have been denied FMLA rights, HKM Employment Attorneys can review your case and determine if you can file a discrimination or wrongful termination claim against your employer. We concentrate on employment law, and have successfully represented many clients whose FMLA rights were violated. Our experienced and knowledgeable lawyers will ensure you have a thorough understanding of FMLA and OFLA/CMRA statutes, and can be counted on to aggressively protect your interests. We have extensive experience and have been recognized as SuperLawyers and Rising Stars among our peers.
Contact a Portland employment law attorney for valuable legal advice and representation if your FMLA rights have been violated.