Atlanta Family and Medical Leave Act Attorneys (FMLA)

Q) What is the Family Medical Leave Act?

  • A) The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a US labor law that provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave. The FMLA applies to employers with 50 or more employees, and employees must have worked for their employer for at least 12 months and for at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months to be eligible for leave under the FMLA.

The FMLA allows employees to take leave for the following reasons:

To care for a child after birth, adoption, or foster care placement

To care for a spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a serious health condition

To take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition

To address certain military family needs

The FMLA requires employers to restore employees who take leave under the FMLA to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms. It also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the FMLA.

Q) What qualifies as a serious medical condition under the family medical leave act?

  •  A “serious health condition” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is defined as an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility, or continuing treatment by a health care provider.

Examples of serious health conditions that may qualify for leave under the FMLA include:

  • A serious illness, such as cancer or pneumonia, that requires an employee to be hospitalized or receive ongoing medical treatment
  • A chronic health condition that requires regular visits to a health care provider, such as asthma or diabetes
  • A disability that prevents an employee from performing the essential functions of their job
  • A mental health condition that requires ongoing care, such as depression or anxiety

In order to qualify for leave under the FMLA, an employee must provide their employer notice that the employee has a serious health condition that requires leave.

Q) How does an employee give notice under the FMLA?

  • A) An employee who needs to take leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is generally required to give their employer advance notice of their need for leave. The specific requirements for giving notice depend on the circumstances of the leave and may vary depending on the employer’s policies and the employee’s job duties.

In general, an employee should provide notice as soon as possible and in a way that is reasonable under the circumstances. If the need for leave is foreseeable (such as in the case of a planned medical treatment or the birth of a child), the employee should give their employer at least 30 days’ notice. If the need for leave is not foreseeable (such as in the case of a sudden illness), the employee should give notice as soon as possible and within the same or next business day, if possible.

There are several ways that an employee can give notice of their need for FMLA leave, including:

  • Informing their supervisor or HR representative in person, by phone, or by email
  • Submitting a written request for leave
  • Providing medical certification from a health care provider
  • If an employee is unable to give notice due to a medical emergency or other unexpected circumstances, a family member or other representative may give notice on the employee’s behalf.

Q) Does my employer have to keep my job open for me while I’m out on FMLA?

  • A) While you are on FMLA leave, your employer is required to continue your group health insurance coverage and to restore you to your same job or an equivalent job when you return from leave.  Further, during your FMLA leave, your employer is not allowed to terminate you, reduce your pay, or change the terms of your employment because you have taken FMLA leave. However, your employer is not required to pay you for the time you are on leave.

  Q) How do you know if you have an FMLA claim against your employer)

  • To determine whether you have an FMLA claim against your employer, you should consider the following factors:
  • Eligibility: To be eligible for FMLA leave, you must work for an employer that is covered by the FMLA, and you must have worked for that employer for at least 12 months. In addition, you must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of your leave.
  • Reason for leave: The FMLA provides leave for certain specific reasons, including the birth or adoption of a child, the need to care for a family member with a serious health condition, and your own serious health condition. If you are taking leave for one of these reasons, you may have an FMLA claim.
  • Notice: If you are taking FMLA leave, you must provide your employer with notice of your need for leave. The notice requirements vary depending on the reason for the leave and the circumstances involved. If you did not provide your employer with sufficient notice, you may not have an FMLA claim.
  • Interference: If your employer interferes with your right to take FMLA leave or retaliates against you for taking FMLA leave, you may have an FMLA claim. Examples of interference or retaliation include denying your request for leave, terminating your employment because you took FMLA leave, or imposing penalties on you for taking FMLA leave.

If you believe that you have an FMLA claim against your employer, you may want to consult with an attorney to understand your rights and options. An attorney can help you determine whether you have a valid claim and can assist you in pursuing your rights under the FMLA.

Q) Are you an employee who has been fired in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)? If so, we can help! 

  • Our law firm is currently seeking plaintiffs for employment cases involving FMLA violations. If you believe that you have been fired or otherwise mistreated by your employer because you exercised your rights under the FMLA, we can help.
  • We are dedicated to fighting for the rights of employees and holding employers accountable for violating the law. If you have experienced FMLA discrimination or retaliation, we can help you explore your legal options and fight for the justice you deserve.

If you are interested in learning more about your rights and options, please contact our office to schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our experienced employment attorneys. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you get the justice you deserve.