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Employers still find problems with Family Medical Leave Act

Though federal laws were passed in 1993 to protect workers when they needed to take time off for family or medical reasons, some companies still dodge the rules when possible. Cases in California involving family responsibility discrimination have increased tremendously as a result. For many workers, litigation involving the Family Medical Leave Act has become very common.

In a recent article, it was disclosed that 67 percent of lawsuits brought to trial are decided in favor of the workers. The cases involve many aspects of a worker's life, including pregnancy, the need to care for others and illness. Settlements and verdicts average around $477,000.

However, the FMLA laws only apply to companies and workers that meet certain criteria, such as the size of the company and the length of time a worker has been employed by the company. If an employee fits the criteria, his or her employer cannot discriminate against the employee or fire them when they ask for time off within established guidelines. Additionally, the company is required to maintain a worker's health insurance during the time he or she is on leave. 

In order to ensure fair and equitable treatment, many employees may benefit from contacting an attorney if they feel their employer is not following the federal and state Family Medical Leave Act laws. A California attorney who is experienced in employment law may be the best first step along this path. They can assist in determining if an employee's fears are valid and discuss appropriate next steps in order to seek justice.

Source: stltoday.com, "Can caring for your family get you fired?", Jim Gallagher, July 24, 2016

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