Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Lawyer

How the Federal Medical Leave Act Protects You — and Your Legal Recourse if it is Violated

Many workers in the United States are guaranteed the right to take unpaid leave for family and medical reasons under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This law also guarantees that health insurance benefits will continue during the period of leave.

What Are Some Common FMLA Scenarios?

Some reasons why a worker would choose to take FMLA-covered leave include:

  • The birth of a child or care of a child within one year of the child’s birth.
  • Caring for a spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition/medical issue. The law defines this as a condition that leaves someone unable to go to work or school or attend to normal duties for at least three consecutive days, requiring follow-up medical care or hospitalization.
  • A chronic health issue that renders the worker incapable of fulfilling job duties is also covered under FMLA.
  • A situation arising out of military service involving the worker or the worker’s spouse, parent of children is also covered by FMLA.

Am I Eligible?

Not everyone is included under FMLA coverage. To qualify, a worker must have been employed with the same enterprise for one year, have worked at least 1,250 hours over the prior 12 months and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more workers within 75 miles.

While employers may not deny leave that is guaranteed under FMLA rules, it is important to remember that FMLA leave is unpaid, although workers may choose to use sick time or vacation time to maintain their earnings during their time off.

To begin the process, a worker makes a request for time off (verbally or in writing although the latter is preferred), and employers are expected to ask for medical certification of the leave within five days. Employers do not have the right to deny leave, limit leave or retaliate against you for taking leave.

When a worker returns, the law requires that she be reinstated to the same position, or an equivalent position with nearly identical pay, benefits and working conditions.

The Connecticut Family Paid Medical Leave Act

In addition to the federal FMLA, the state of Connecticut has passed its own version of the law (the CFMLA) which allows up to 16 weeks of unpaid leave within a 24-month period, or 24 weeks if you are a state employee.

To qualify, you must have worked at least 1,000 hours over the last 12 months for an employer who has more than 75 employees.

However, changes to make the law much more generous are coming. Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, the CFMLA will cover all private employers with more than one employee. Workers will also begin qualifying for paid time off under the CFMLA.

These payments will be funded by a payroll tax and will be capped at $900 for a maximum of 12 weeks. This will make the CFMLA one of the most generous leave policies in the United States.

Finding the Right FMLA Attorney in Connecticut

If your employer does not conform to FMLA and CFMLA mandates, it is imperative that you seek legal help. A local attorney who is experienced in the intricacies of FMLA and CFMLA law can help ensure that your legal rights are respected, and that you are compensated for any discrimination or retaliation that occurs.

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