If you had to take medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for personal reasons or to take care of family, it is likely that you had to deal with a significant amount of stress during that period. It is unfair that you would then have to worry about your career suffering as a result.
FMLA leave is protected under federal laws. This means that while you will not get paid for the time that you take off from work, you cannot lawfully suffer from retaliation as a result. Unfortunately, many workers who take FMLA leave report experiencing some forms of retaliation once they return.
If I am demoted after taking leave, do I automatically have a wrongful demotion claim?
If you took FMLA leave and were subject to a demotion soon after your return, you will probably be suspicious that this was a retaliatory move. However, you will not be able to automatically make a successful wrongful demotion claim. You will need to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the demotion you were subject to was linked to your taking federally proctected FMLA leave.
You may be able to show this by asserting that your prior work performance was satisfactory and that there was no rational reason for your employer to take action to demote you upon your return to work.
If you believe that you have suffered from a wrongful demotion after taking FMLA leave, it is important that you do not simply tolerate this behavior. By taking action, you will be able to assert your rights.