Have you or a family member ever been so sick that you're unable to go to work? While this may have been an issue that wouldn't cross your mind in the past, it is becoming more common with COVID-19 being so common. However, you may be in a situation where your employer is not allowing you to take the time you need for you or your family. Here are some things you need to know about how your employer may be violating your right to use the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Denying Your FMLA Request
The first violations of your rights may come in the form of an outright denial. If you are requesting to use the FMLA to take time off, your employer may respond to your request by telling you that you cannot. While there are requirements that companies must meet in order to give FMLA time off, such as length of employment and size of the company, you'll need to get a lawyer involved if you are legally within your rights to take the time off.
Firing You During Your FMLA Leave
Another way that your employer may be breaking the law is if they fire you while you are out on FMLA leave. This is considered a form of retaliation, and you can't be fired simply for taking the time off that you need. However, things get complicated when your employer starts to cite reasons for your termination that you feel are not truthful. They may try to blame your termination on job performance issues that you were not aware of. This is another situation that should involve a lawyer because it is more likely a situation where your employer is trying to fire you for taking time off work.
Being Asked To Work During FMLA Leave
Once your time off has started by using FMLA leave, know that your employer cannot ask you to work during that time. This is more common with people doing remote work at home, where your employer thinks that small requests of you are no big deal. Know that it is illegal and that they may owe you damages for making you work during your leave.
Being Demoted For Taking FMLA Leave
If you manage to successfully take FMLA leave from your employer, you may be in for a surprise when you get back to work and you have been assigned a new position. If that position is considered a demotion with less pay than what you were being given before, this is another example of your rights being violated. It should be fairly easy to prove since your previous job description and salary will be different.
Contact a local FMLA lawyer to learn more about what to do in any of these situations.