At some point in almost everybody’s life, a life or family event may leave them unable to work. This can be the result of the birth of a child, an illness, or the need to take care of an elderly family member. Thanks to federal protections, all employees of companies who employ at least 50 workers can leave their jobs for a certain period of time with no negative repercussions.
Unfortunately, not every employer is aware of or willing to respect the rights of their employees. Any time an employer rejects a valid leave request, orders an employee to return early, or later retaliates against an employee for exercising their rights, the affected employee has the option to file a complaint demanding compensation.
A Virginia FMLA and leave discrimination lawyer could help you evaluate your request for leave and the subsequent actions of your employer. If your employer’s actions violate the law, the Spiggle Law Firm could work with you to file a complaint and seek an appropriate remedy.
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) establishes a baseline for leave throughout the county. Some states have chosen to expand upon these rights with their own leave laws, but Virginia is not one of these states. As a result, the federal baselines for protection apply.
These protections allow workers at companies that employ at least 50 employees to exercise their right to leave under specific circumstances. These circumstances include:
In order to qualify for this program, you must have worked for your employer for at least one year prior to your leave request, for at least 1,250 hours during that year. The total time for leave in a single calendar year cannot exceed 12 weeks. Furthermore, there is no requirement that your employer pay you during this leave; however, they are obligated to continue providing benefits such as health insurance.
The Spiggle Law Firm (TSLF) represents clients across five states and covers a variety of employment law practice areas. Since opening its doors in 2009, TSLF has negotiated millions in wrongful employment settlements and become a trusted and respected advocate for those facing discrimination, retaliation, and harassment in the workplace.
If you have your leave requests illegally denied or are retaliated against for taking leave, you have two options.
The first is to file a complaint with the United States Department of Labor. The Department of Labor maintains the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) that has the ability to conduct an independent investigation of the alleged illegal activity. This includes the power to interview witnesses, make on-site visits, and even issue rulings ordering workplaces to compensate affected employees.
Your second option involves taking your case directly to court. Section 107 of the FLMA provides private citizens with a cause of action to take their case to the local United States District Court or to a court in Virginia. However, if you choose this path, the responsibility to conduct an investigation, file the complaint, and conduct the trial is entirely on you.
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All employees at companies with at least 50 workers on staff have the right to take unpaid leave for medical emergencies or to have a child. If your employer refuses to provide this leave and has an illegitimate reason for doing so, you may file a complaint to demand enforcement or compensation.
This can involve filing a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor or taking the case directly to court. Every case is unique, and the correct option for one person may not be best for another.
The Spiggle Law Firm could help you choose the correct path given your circumstances. There is a strict time limit on when to file a complaint, so you should act quickly and receive a free online case review from a Virginia FMLA and leave discrimination lawyer today. Click here to learn more.