The Family and Medical Leave Act is an important part of employee rights in the United States. This federal law allows eligible employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons. It is so helpful to employees that the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that over 50% of workers use it each year.
However, if your California employer denies your FMLA request, you may wonder if they did so legally. Understanding whether your employer is infringing upon your rights can be challenging, especially without the proper knowledge about FMLA.
The FMLA allows you to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period. You can take this leave for reasons such as the birth of a child, to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition or if you have a serious health condition that makes you unable to perform your job.
What constitutes a violation?
A violation of FMLA occurs when an employer denies an eligible employee’s rightful leave or retaliates against an employee for taking the leave. If your employer prevents you from taking time off, cuts your hours, demotes you, fires you or subjects you to any other negative employment action because you requested or took FMLA leave, they are violating your rights under this act.
What is retaliation under FMLA?
Retaliation under FMLA happens when your employer punishes you for requesting or using FMLA leave. This punishment can take different forms, including job termination, demotion or giving negative performance reviews. Retaliation is a serious violation of the FMLA.
What if your employer does not know about FMLA?
Sometimes, employers are unaware of the FMLA or its requirements. However, ignorance of the law does not excuse them from compliance. If your employer claims they did not know about FMLA when denying your leave, they are still violating your rights under the law.
What can you do if your employer violates FMLA?
If you believe your employer is violating your FMLA rights, you can file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. They enforce FMLA regulations and can investigate your complaint.
Understanding FMLA and your rights under this act is essential for protecting yourself in the workplace. If your California employer denies you these rights, remember you can seek justice and uphold your entitlements under the law.