Family Medical Leave Act / FMLA Attorney in Chicago
Did you or an immediate family member have a serious health condition that forced you to miss work? Or do you need a leave of absence from work for the birth or adoption of a child? If you answered yes to either of these questions and are covered by the FMLA, your employer may be required to give you up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, continue your group insurance coverage, and restore your job at the end of your leave.
How do you know if you’re covered by the FMLA? You need to have worked for your employer for at least one year, worked at least 1,250 hours in the last year, and worked for a company that employs at least 50 employees within 75 miles of the location where you work.
Contact our Chicago FMLA lawyers today for a free, confidential consultation if:
- Your employer denied your request for a leave of absence; or
- Your employer terminated you during your leave of absence or failed to restore your job at the end of your leave.
What is the Family Medical Leave Act Law?
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides covered employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that group health benefits be maintained during the leave. The FMLA requires employers of 50 or more employees to give up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for the birth or adoption of a child or for the serious illness of the employee or a spouse, child or parent.
To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must:
- work for a covered employer;
- have worked for the employer for a total of 12 months;
- have worked at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months; and
- work at a location in the United States or in any territory or possession of the United States where at least 50 employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles.
The State of Illinois does not have its own Family and Medical Leave Law. Instead, Illinois employers must follow the federal FMLA.
If you are looking to find and hire aggressive FMLA lawyers who can best help you with a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) question or FMLA lawsuit, Werman Salas P.C. can help you. Learn more about some commonly asked Family Medical Leave Act questions here.
Pregnancy and FMLA Leave
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a complex federal labor law aimed at protecting employees who have to take medical leave in order to care for themselves or a loved one such as a child, sibling or parent. FMLA allows qualified employees of qualified employers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off from work during a specified 12 month time period. The 12 weeks may be taken all at once, or as intermittent leave.
There are important things to keep in mind about FMLA. One of them is that FMLA is unpaid leave and an employer is under no legal obligation to pay you while you are on leave. However, an employer is required to hold your job for you but an employer can ask you to take a vacation and sick time along with FMLA, so you may not have vacation or sick time when you first return to your job.
Another important aspect to keep in mind about FMLA is the qualifications for employers and employees.
In the private sector, if your employer has 50 or more employees including part-time employees within 75 miles of each other, your employer is covered by FMLA. The reason for the number of employees and the distance is simple: the employer is able to absorb the loss of a worker. Small businesses, like a daycare center with 12 employees, may not be able to function without hiring a replacement for 12 weeks so you can take your leave. FMLA is intended to let employees take time to attend to family and medical issues while also ensuring a business does not go under as a result.
Public sector employers are covered regardless of employee size. From the employee perspective, for the employee working for a company that is covered by FMLA, two conditions qualifications must be met:
- Worked for the employer for at least 12 months
- Worked at least 1250 hours within 12 months prior to taking leave
These are the conditions mandated by the Family Medical Leave Act Law; however, an employer may require more information such as certification from a doctor that FMLA leave is needed. FMLA is limited to serious medical conditions and is not to be substituted for sick days, and an employer may request doctor certification for FMLA leave.
With the complexities and intricacies associated with FMLA, employers are required to have an FMLA policy that complies with the law and sometimes aspects get missed, causing the denial of FMLA leave or loss of employment. The FMLA Lawyers at Werman Salas have handled FMLA claims, and are well versed in its intricacies and complexities. Let us help you understand your rights under FMLA and pursue your FMLA claim to your satisfaction.