Are You Eligible for a FMLA Claim?

Are You Eligible for a FMLA Claim?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows employees who meet certain qualifications to take an unpaid leaves of absence for up to 12 weeks and still have their healthcare benefits and jobs protected. Under this law, employers are not allowed to fire their employees or demote them for taking this time off of work, when the workers qualify. When an employee's rights under this law were not honored, that worker can file an FMLA claim against the employers or former employer. This might be an individual who were denied FMLA leave that he or she was entitled to receive, or an individual who lost his or her jobs or was demoted as a result of taking the leave of absence. (The Federal and Medical Leave Act requires workers on FMLA leave to be ensured the same or equivalent positions upon return from their leave.)

In order to tell whether you are eligible for a FMLA claim, you must first determine whether you met the FMLA requirements in the first place. These requirements, which are explained on the website of the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division, are outlined below. You can also obtain more information by consulting with a Chicago employment lawyer from our firm, The Law Offices of Fern Trevino.

Qualified Reason for Leave: Workers can make a FMLA claim if they need time off due to serious health conditions that make them unable to work to perform their jobs. They can also claim FMLA leave in order to do any of the following: care for a child, spouse or parent who has a serious health condition; care for one's newborn child after the child's birth (must occur within the first year); care for one's newly placed adopted child or foster child (within one year of placement). There are also certain claims that can be made for close relatives of active-duty military members who are seriously ill or injured.

Qualified Duration of Employment: Employers are only be eligible for FMLA leave time if they have worked for their employers for periods of at least 12 months, though that time does not have to be consecutive. They are also required to have worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months. FMLA leave is available to both full-time and part-time workers, as well as to those who work on an intermittent basis.

Qualified Employer: Workers should note that not all employers are beholden to the Family and Medical Leave Act. In the private sector, the law only applies to employers who have 50 or more employees (for at least 20 weeks) within a 75-mile radius. The law also applies to employers that are public agencies and schools. Employers are must comply with FMLA are considered "covered."

If you are eligible to take time away from work, you are entitled to a leave of absence lasting 12 workweeks, which must occur within a 12-month period. This time can be longer for caregivers of seriously injured or ill military members. You will need to meet certain requirements for notifying your employer of your leave under this law.

While FMLA was designed to create certain protections for employees, there are still individuals who are not given the time off they deserve or who are retaliated against by their employers. Our firm is here to help you use your FMLA claim against your employer to you pursue financial damages for the losses you suffered as a result of this situation.

The Law Offices of Fern Trevino has been serving the Chicago area for nearly two decades and has experienced Chicago employment law attorneys who have been highly recognized within their fields. We are ready to assist you with your FMLA case. Call us today for more information about how we can help you!