If you are an employee in Florida, it is important to know your rights and protections under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The FMLA is a federal law that grants eligible employees the right to take unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons without risking their job security.
Employers must abide by these regulations. They can not manipulate your work hours to evade their legal responsibilities.
As an eligible employee, the FMLA provides you with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period. You can take a job-protected leave for various reasons, including serious illness, childbirth, adoption or caring for a close family member with a health condition. In 2020, workers filed 966 FMLA complaints with the Department of Labor.
Work-hour manipulation violates the law
Some employers may attempt to control your work hours to avoid providing FMLA benefits. They may try to accomplish this in several ways, such as:
- Transferring: Your boss may move you from one work site to another to keep each location below the 50-employee threshold for eligibility
- Changing job functions: Your employer may change the essential functions of your job to preclude the taking of leave
- Reducing work hours: Your company may reduce your available work hours or change your shifts to sidestep your eligibility
- Moving work location: Following a leave, your employer may try to move you to a new site with a significantly longer commute
In Florida, these actions are illegal and go against federal and state laws.
Florida law protects against unethical work-hour practices
Employers must adhere to the regulations outlined in the FMLA, as they apply to all eligible employees. It is illegal for your managers to interfere with your FMLA rights, including tampering with your work hours to bypass their responsibilities.
It is essential to protect your job security and benefits. If you believe your employer is violating your rights, take action and file a complaint with the Department of Labor. Or file a lawsuit against your employer. Know that the law is on your side and works to safeguard your rights.