Family Medical Leave Act

You have a serious medical condition, and you are struggling to maintain your health and your personal life. Or a family member (your spouse, child or parent) has a serious medical condition and you have to give your time and your support. You shouldn’t have to lose your job because you are sick or caring for a loved one who is sick.

When you tell us about such situations, we ask you questions to find out if you are protected by the Family Medical Leave Act, or the FMLA. Does your employer have more than 50 employees at your worksite or within 75 miles of your worksite, have you worked more than half-time during the last 12 months for that employer, what is the diagnosis of the medical condition? Serious medical conditions covered under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may entitle you to 12 weeks medical leave. It may not be paid leave, but you will have the right to return to your job, if you can do it within 12 weeks. And the 12 weeks can be taken in smaller chunks of time. Even parts of a day. For example, you have to take a couple of hours off for physical therapy because you have broken a bone or for chemotherapy because you have cancer, or for an operation because you have a heart condition. As long as the total amount of time does not exceed 12 weeks in a year, you may be covered by the Family Medical Leave Act. The FMLA also covers leave for the birth of your child, and for care for your infant. Adoption and foster care placement is also covered. The general idea is to try to balance the needs of the workplace and the needs of the family. Unfortunately, the FMLA does not cover bereavement leave.

When you return to work, you must be returned to a job with equivalent benefits, pay and terms and conditions - basically, the employer has to hold your job open or one that is almost identical.

If your employer has less than fifty employees or if you have a medical condition does not meet the definition of serious medical condition under the FMLA (which is somewhat technical), you may entitled to be covered in New York City for disability discrimination under the New York City Human Rights Law - only four employees are needed for coverage and the definition of disability is very broad and will cover many more conditions than the FMLA does.

In addition, the employer cannot subject you to retaliation for taking Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) time when you come back. For example, your employer cannot punish you for taking FMLA leave (or for requesting FMLA leave) by reducing your wages, demoting you, or significantly changing your job responsibilities. Since 1993, when the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was enacted, we have been helped many employees subjected to discrimination because they have asked for or taken leave covered by the Family Medical Leave Act, and we will be your lawyer for negotiations or a court suit in New York State Courts or New York City so that injustice is stopped.

Contact us online or call us at (212) 949-1001 for a free initial consultation today so that we can determine if you are protected by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

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