The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has been in effect in the United States since 1993. Even still, the Department of Labor says that many companies continue to make mistakes in implementing it. This puts them at risk of penalties and fines fined. There are a few common ways in which they violate this federal law.
Employers are often cited for FMLA violations because they fail to clearly define their company's policy for how the 12 weeks of leave can be taken. When federal lawmakers drafted this legislation, they left it up to employers to decide how the 12-month window during which the leave could be taken would be defined. Many companies don't have a policy for their workers to abide by.
Many employers fail to post the required signs in the workplace informing their employees what FMLA is. They also don't include information about it in the employee handbook. Even if they do, many employers fail to advise their workers of when their leave request may qualify to take FMLA instead.
Employers may face significant penalties and fines if they fail to give their employees an FMLA eligibility notice or description of their rights and responsibilities. They're required to provide them with this during the first five days from when they request leave.
Penalties or fines for FMLA violations are often doled out after employers deny workers' requests to take leave. Many don't realize that this leave can be taken for a worker's own illness or injuries or those of their immediate family members. They also don't realize that it can be taken for both mental and physical health concerns, whether they're work-related or not.
Employers also end up being penalized for violating FMLA regulations because they don't have employees fill out the official forms specifically designed for it. These forms let workers know what their rights are and clarify what type of medical verification that may be requested of them.
It's the responsibility of all California employers to familiarize themselves with existing state and federal employment law and labor regulations. Ignorance is no excuse for an employer to violate these rules. Employees who have been denied a right to medical leave for themselves or their loved ones should consult with an FMLA claims attorney. They can help them hold negligent San Francisco employers accountable for their actions.