If you have worked for your California employer for several years and only taken standard vacation and personal days, you might not know your rights under the FMLA. You may qualify for leave if you have aging parents who require your care.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the Family and Medical Leave Act provides up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave per year for certain employees. Its purpose is to help you balance family and work responsibilities. Despite the regulations, employer violations still occur. Sometimes, the issues are the result of accidental missteps. Unfortunately, they can still impact your life and your job.
Notification of your rights
The legislation’s primary goal is protecting you from losing your job due to serious health conditions, either yours or a family member’s. One of the most common employer violations is not informing you of your rights and the rules accompanying them. There are several ways employers can provide you with the information you need:
- Ensure you see one of the workplace posters
- Provide you with a printed fact sheet from the Department of Labor’s website
- Set up a short meeting with human resources and discuss the requirements
Depending on your situation, you may qualify for continuous, intermittent or extended leave.
Excessive scrutiny of your leave
If an organization runs lean, training a temporary replacement or leaving the position vacant, your extended absence could strain their resources. The result is often excessive scrutiny regarding your FMLA eligibility. They may deny your leave application even if it qualifies and your employment meets the requirements.
FMLA protects employees who return to work according to the date on the approved leave paperwork. Employers must present documentation if you do not return to work as scheduled and the organization terminates your employment. However, if your employer fires you during the approved period, it violates your rights. If your position or similar job is no longer available upon your return, it is also an FMLA violation.