The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) makes it easy for employees to take time off work to care for themselves or an immediate family member during an illness or injury.
While it is against the law for employers to deny a legitimate FMLA claim, some still interfere and violate their employees’ rights. The following situations are prime examples of employers discriminating against employees using FMLA.
1. Disciplining employees for taking FMLA
Employees taking qualified time off might experience consequences for missing work. Sometimes employers deem the time as an unexcused absence, punish employees for incomplete assignments and withhold promotions or pay increases. Occasionally, employers may even try to terminate employees for taking FLMA leave, violating their protected rights.
2. Not providing an equivalent job upon returning to work
FMLA requires employers to provide employees with the same or equal jobs when returning from leave. Employers often discriminate against employees by not following through with this. They may only offer an employee a position they are currently hiring for or one with lower pay or different responsibilities. If employers have to fill the vacancies out of demand, they should consider temporary employees until the original employees return from leave.
3. Denying FMLA in an emergency
Employers can ask for 30 days’ notice before employees leave on FMLA. However, employees do not need to provide such notice in an emergency. Employers can not deny employees’ time off requests because of unforeseeable and immediate needs.
Knowing that employees can take legal action against employers who violate FMLA laws may encourage employees to take time off when needed.