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Martin & Bonnett, Phoenix Employment Lawyers
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Family and Medical Leave

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Attorneys

Clients of Martin & Bonnett employment attorneys benefit from our extensive experience in combatting retaliation or a job change related to the Family and Medical Leave Act.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows employees to balance their work and family life by taking reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. The FMLA seeks to accomplish these purposes in a manner that accommodates the legitimate interests of employers, and minimizes the potential for employment discrimination on the basis of gender, while promoting equal employment opportunity for men and women.

The FMLA applies to all public agencies, including State, local and Federal employers, and local education agencies (schools), and to all private sector employers who employ 50 or more employees for at least 20 workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year - including joint employers and successors of covered employers.

Eligibility

To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must work for a covered employer and:

  • have worked for that employer for at least 12 months; and 
  • have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of the FMLA leave; and, 
  • work at a location where at least 50 employees are employed at the location or within 75 miles of the location.

Your Rights Under the FMLA

As is explained in greater detail on the U.S. Department of Labor’s website, the FMLA allows an employee to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for a “qualifying event.” (Vacation and paid comp time can be used as well.) Qualifying events include:

  • the birth or adoption of a child,
  • a serious health condition experienced by an immediate family member (spouse, child or parent), 
  • a serious health condition that prevents the employee from working.

Intermittent or Reduced Schedule Leave

The FMLA permits employees to take leave on an intermittent basis or to work a reduced schedule when medically necessary to care for a seriously ill family member, or because of the employee's serious health condition. In caring for a newborn or newly placed adopted or foster care child, intermittent leave may be taken only with the employer's approval.

Only the amount of leave actually taken while on intermittent/reduced schedule leave may be charged as FMLA leave. Employees may not be required to take more FMLA leave than necessary to address the circumstances that cause the need for leave.

Employees needing intermittent/reduced schedule leave for foreseeable medical treatment must work with their employers to schedule the leave so as not to unduly disrupt the employer's operations. In such cases, the employer may temporarily transfer the employee to an alternative job, with equivalent pay and benefits, that better accommodates recurring periods of leave than the regular job.

Your Rights Upon Returning to Work

In most cases, upon your return from FMLA leave, your employer is required to restore you to the same position or to an "equivalent" job, which means virtually identical to the original job in terms of pay, benefits, and other employment terms and conditions. Also, employers are required to maintain group health benefits during the leave as if the employee had continued to work instead of taking leave.

Unfortunately, some employers violate the FMLA by terminating, demoting or retaliating against an employee who requests or takes leave. Upon their return, an employee may have a lower performance rating in an evaluation or be ineligible for a promotion due to the time taken off for family reasons.

At Martin & Bonnett PLLC, we have the experience and knowledge to help you determine whether you are eligible for the FMLA and, if you are, whether your employer has violated the FMLA. If you are eligible and are punished for taking FMLA leave, we will diligently represent you and seek enforcement of your rights.

Do You Have a Case?

Many employees may be unaware that they have a claim or do not know how to pursue a claim. Therefore, it is important to consult with an experienced employment law attorney to determine whether you have a claim and what your legal options are.

We Can Help. At Martin & Bonnett PLLC, we diligently defend the rights of our clients and hold employers accountable for unlawful employment practices.

At Martin & Bonnett, we have the experience and knowledge to help you determine whether you are eligible for the FMLA and, if you are, whether your employer has violated the FMLA. If you are eligible for FMLA and are punished for exercising your rights, we will diligently represent you and seek enforcement of your rights.

Our extensive background gives us insight into analyzing your case to determine your rights and whether remedies are available without having to file a lawsuit. If that option is not available, we will discuss with you the possibility of filing a lawsuit against your employer.

For more information, contact us at 602-240-6900 or 800-952-4750, or use our convenient, confidential Contact Form.


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