There are a number of federal protections in place to protect employees in the workplace. One of the most important laws is the Federal Medical Leave Act, also known as FMLA. In short, those who qualify for the protections afforded by the FMLA cannot be retaliated against for taking leave for certain conditions. Protected conditions include the birth and care of a newborn child, care of a family member who suffers from a serious medical condition, and the care of one’s own serious medical condition.
Although the protections afforded by the FMLA are clearly delineated, the truth of the matter is that employers continue to violate it. In far too many instances, employers reduce an employee’s hours or wages after they return from leave, and, sometimes, they demote or terminate the employee simply because the employee attempted to assert their right to leave under the FMLA.
When this happens, a wronged employee has a number of options at their disposal. To start, employees can file a wage and hour claim with the Department of Labor. This can spur an investigation that leads to the discovery of other evidence that supports a showing that the FMLA has been violated. In addition to filing one of these claims, a wronged worker can file a legal claim individually. If successful, a claim may result in recovering compensation for damages suffered, as well as reinstatement to the same or similar job the person held before going on leave.
The FMLA gives workers a lot of protections, but those protections are only valuable when workers take the action necessary to ensure that they are upheld. Those who fail to take action when their rights have been violated won’t see the remedies they deserve. This is why those who believe their rights under the FMLA were violated should think about discussing their situation with an experienced employment law attorney.