Prince George’s County FMLA Leave Discrimination Lawyer
Sometimes, life circumstances such as a new child or severely ill family member may necessitate employees taking extended leave to care for their families in their time of need. Most employees are eligible for formal leave from work to do this under the Family Medical Leave Act (FLMA). However, after taking this time, some employees may be subjected to harmful treatment in their workplace.
The form of leave discrimination is not just wrong—it is unlawful. Fortunately, a Prince George’s County FMLA and leave discrimination lawyer may be able to help. The dedicated workplace discrimination attorneys at the Spiggle Law Firm are experienced protecting those who are merely exercising their rights.
When Does the FMLA Apply?
Specific criteria must be met for an employee to take leave under the FMLA. If these are not met, discrimination an employee faces may not amount to a valid FMLA discrimination claim. Qualified employees are permitted to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave annually for reasons including:
- Recovery from a severe personal health problem or illness
- To care for a parent, child or spouse suffering from a serious health condition
- Caring for a newborn
- Caring for a newly adopted or fostered child
What Employees Are Eligible to Take FMLA Leave?
For you to be eligible for protection under the FMLA, both you and your employer must meet legally establishing conditions. For example, all public agencies, public elementary and secondary schools, private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with more than 50 employees must comply with the FMLA.
Employees taking FMLA-protected leave must have been employed at their employer for a minimum of 12 months, or have worked 1,250 hours during that time. You must also work within a 75-mile radius of your employer’s main location along with at least 50 other employees. An FLMA leave and discrimination lawyer in Prince George’s County with experience handling these types of cases could help determine if your employer’s actions are compliant—or should be compliant—with FMLA protections.
Understanding FMLA Discrimination
Discrimination arises when employees are mistreated in connection with requesting to take or taking FMLA leave. This means employees could face discrimination before they depart, or after they return. Being granted the maximum 12 weeks of leave allowed does not necessarily mean that an individual has not faced discrimination, or does not have a valid discrimination case.
Discrimination comes in varying forms, but it commonly includes:
- Discouraging FMLA leave, to an individual or across an organization
- Denial of valid FMLA requests
- Lowered compensation upon return
- No consideration for promotions
- Less desirable positions and duties
In most circumstances, when an employee returns from validly taken FMLA leave, they should be reinstated to their former position or a substantially similar position. Additionally, any benefits of employment should remain consistent before, during, and upon return from leave. Any changes that occur after requesting or taking valid leave should be reviewed with a Prince George’s County FMLA and leave discrimination attorney to ensure there is no discrimination involved.
Those facing FMLA discrimination may be entitled to receive damages for any losses they may have incurred. These damages could include lost wages, benefits, or reinstatement in a position you were fired from. Employers found violating protections of the FMLA may also face additional consequences in the form of federal or state-enforced penalties.
Meet with a Prince George’s County FMLA and Leave Discrimination Attorney
Taking a valid leave from work should not cause you to stress regarding job security or discrimination. If you are experiencing negative treatment in the workplace for reasons related to leave, the Spiggle Law Firm could answer questions regarding compliance, employee eligibility, or potential discrimination claims.
Our team is dedicated to helping our clients combat discrimination in the workplace. If you are considering taking or are currently on FMLA leave, contact a Prince George’s County FMLA and leave discrimination lawyer to ensure that your employer lawfully respects your rights. Click here to get started by taking our free online case review quiz.