Virginia Family Responsibilities Discrimination Lawyer 

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At some point in your life, you may need to take time off work to take care of a loved one—perhaps as a parent taking care of a child, or as an adult taking care of an elderly parent or relative. No matter the exact circumstances, the law protects many workers who must take time off to care for a family member.

Unfortunately, some workplaces refuse to acknowledge the rights of employees to take leave for the purpose of caring for a loved one. When this happens, workers have the right to file complaints demanding enforcement of these rights. If you find yourself facing this kind of discrimination at work, a Virginia family responsibilities discrimination lawyer from the Spiggle Law Firm could help you stand up to your employer. Speak to a determined workplace discrimination attorney that could help you obtain the leave that you deserve.

Rights of Workers to Medical Leave

The Family Medical Leave Act (FLMA) establishes the rights of certain workers to take leave in case of a medical event. These events do not have to be an emergency, but they must be for the purpose of taking care of a family member.

Acceptable reasons to take leave include:

  • The birth of and care for a newborn baby
  • Seeing through the adoption of a child
  • Caring for any ill or injured family member, whether it is a child, spouse, or parent

However, this leave only applies under specific employment circumstances. You must have worked at the company granting the leave for at least one year and for at least 1,250 hours prior to taking the leave. In addition, the FLMA only applies to workplaces with at least 50 employees.

It is important to note that according to the FLMA, your employer cannot deny a claim for leave due to your age, sex, gender, or sexual orientation. In other words, as long as the claim is for a valid reason, your workplace cannot deny a claim.

Demanding Enforcement of Workers’ Rights in Virginia

Many states have passed laws that expand upon the FMLA’s provisions for medical leave. Virginia, however, is not one of them. Because of this, there is no mechanism under Virginia law for filing a complaint against a workplace that refuses to accept a valid FMLA claim.

Instead, you must file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor if you want to address caregiver discrimination in the state of Virginia. This department can initiate an investigation into the alleged discrimination by interviewing witnesses as well as gathering any documentary evidence of the application and denial. The department may then order the issuance of the leave or even monetary damages to compensate you.

An alternate path allows Virginia employees to file a lawsuit directly with the United States District Court since the FLMA provides a specific cause of action granting workers access to the courts to demand enforcement of their rights. Every case is different, though, so it may be wise to consult with a Virginia family responsibilities discrimination attorney who could help you choose the path most likely to lead to a successful outcome.

Getting in Touch with a Virginia Family Responsibilities Discrimination Attorney

All workers—male or female, of any age or religion—have the right to take leave to care for a sick family member. Employers who fail to provide this leave when the worker is otherwise qualified are in violation of the Family Medical Leave Act.

If you file a valid application for leave and have this leave denied, you have legal options. You could file a complaint with the government to initiate an investigation, or you may file a lawsuit directly in court.

Either way, a Virginia family responsibilities discrimination lawyer could help you pursue your legal rights. They could work with you to listen to your side of the story, develop a strategy, and move towards putting that strategy into motion. Click here for a free online case assessment from the Spiggle Law Firm.