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Family or Medical Leave

Chicago FMLA Lawyer

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Claims

If you have questions about the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and your right to take unpaid leave from work for medical reasons or to care for a family member, an employment attorney can explain how FMLA applies to your facts, and what to do if you have been denied leave or if you have been wrongfully terminated for taking FMLA leave. An attorney at the firm will meet with you to discuss your specific circumstances to determine whether you qualify for FMLA leave, and what options are available if your rights have been violated.

The FMLA permits eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from work in any 12-month period to care for themselves and/or family members. It applies to private employers with at least 50 employees within 75 miles of the workplace, and to most federal, state, and local government employers, regardless of size.

FMLA Eligibility for Employees in Illinois

An employee is eligible for FMLA leave if he or she:

  • Has been employed by the employer for at least 12 months (not necessarily consecutive);
  • Has worked for the employer at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months; and
  • Is employed at a worksite with at least 50 employees at that location, or within a 75-mile radius.

An eligible employee is entitled to FMLA leave:

  • Because of a serious health condition which has left the employee unable to work;
  • To care for the employee's spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition; or
  • To care for the employee's newborn child or a newly-placed adopted or foster child.

If the need for FMLA leave is foreseeable, the employee must give the employer 30 days' notice. If the need for FMLA leave is not foreseeable, the employee must give the employer notice as soon as possible. The employee must provide sufficient information for the employer to understand that the requested leave qualifies under the FMLA, although the employee does not have to mention the statute by name. Merely calling in sick is not sufficient. For a serious health condition, the employer may require the employee to complete a medical certification, but may not request medical records or contact the employee's doctor for more information.

An employee may take FMLA leave on a full-time, part-time, or intermittent basis. With few exceptions, the Act gives employees the right to be restored to the same or an equivalent position when he or she returns, the right to continued health benefits during leave, and the right not to be retaliated against for taking leave.

Retaliation for FMLA Leave

It is illegal for an employer to demote or fire an employee for taking FMLA leave. The Law Offices of Fern Trevino can advise you on whether your facts rise to the level of an FMLA claim.

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