Articles Posted in FMLA

Going up against a large employer when you’ve been discriminated against can be daunting, especially when your condition arises from a work-related injury. An experienced Los Angeles employment lawyer can help guide you through the process of seeking justice and fair compensation.disability discrimination

Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (which has jurisdiction over California) reinstated an FMLA  and disability discrimination lawsuit filed by a Nevada woman against a large box chain retailer employer.

The case of Hazelett v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. began with a work injury. Plaintiff worked as an order-filler at one of the store’s distribution centers near her home when she injured her foot on-the-job. She filed for workers’ compensation and later, a leave of absence. During her work-related disability, the store offered her a temporary alternate duty assignment. The form for that assignment indicated that if she refused that assignment, her disability benefits could be suspended or denied due to noncompliance. However, the reassignment they offered was a far distance from her home and required her to work into the wee hours of the morning. Meanwhile, her work injury was such that she could not drive. No public transportation would be available to take her home after her shift, unless she paid for a taxi, which she couldn’t afford. She called out sick each day she was absent, thinking they were excused, as they were all related to her workers’ compensation injury. Yet on the day she filed for leave under the U.S. Family and Medical Leave Act, she was fired for excessive absences.

(FMLA is a federal law allowing up to 12 weeks of protected, unpaid leave in a 12-month period for the birth of a child/placement of adoption, care of a spouse/child/parent who has a serious health condition or a serious health condition rendering employee unable to perform the essential functions of his/her job.)

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A new law California bill recently signed into law will provide millions of workers employed by small businesses additional family leave protections that can be used for time off to care for a family member who is sick or new baby.Los Angeles FMLA lawyer

SB 1383 requires companies employing five workers or more to extend a full three months of family leave (unpaid) to workers – starting Jan. 1, 2021. As it stands, the only employees who can expect to take the full three months of family leave are those working for a company with 50 or more employees. New parents can take parental leave if they are employed by a company with at least 20 employees. But many families couldn’t access these job protections or the state’s family leave benefits program, into which all workers pay. The state benefits grant up to eight weeks of partial pay (recently raised from six weeks) based on a worker’s weekly salary.

Furthermore, the new law allows new parents employed by the same company to each by given the full 12 weeks of leave – rather than giving employers the option to compel parents to split their leave time. Continue Reading ›

California FMLA protections (short for Family Medical Leave Act, which is in fact a federal program) are in place as soon as you request that leave. Los Angeles FMLA lawyers point this out because some companies have been ensnared in litigation in employment lawsuits filed by employees who say their bosses tried to dissuade them from taking this leave. This is an extremely unwise move from the company’s perspective because once those FMLA protections kick in, it’s possible the company will be vulnerable to liability if they try to talk an employee out of taking leave to which they are entitled. California FMLA protections attorney

This is allegedly what happened at a well-known grocery store where an employee was reportedly told to “suck it up” after she requested FMLA leave. In Bartman v. Wegmens Food Markets Inc., plaintiff says she sought leave for anxiety and chronic depression. Yet when she did so, her manager allegedly told her to “suck it up” and berated her for “being a burden” to the rest of the staff in the kitchen.

Our Los Angeles FMLA attorneys understand beyond that, plaintiff was reportedly singled out and harassed by her boss at work, leading to her condition worsening, a greater need for leave and then further harassment. Ultimately, she says she was wrongfully terminated for chronic lateness, tardiness and failure to follow the call-in procedures for calling in sick. Had she not first requested FMLA before all this, termination may well have been justified. But the fact that she requested this leave for her own health and was told by her boss she should not take it means she has a stronger case for employer FMLA violations.  Continue Reading ›

U.S. and California law provide very specific discrimination protections for employees who have historically been the greatest targets. Typically, these are women, racial minorities, older workers and those with disabilities. We’ve come a long way in the last 50- to- 60-years in ensuring California workers aren’t fired, demoted, transferred or miss out on key benefits because of prejudice by their employers. However, a key component of those protections is the worker’s classification. Those who are classified as “employees” are entitled to a host of employment law protections – everything from minimum wages and regular mandated breaks to reasonable accommodations if one one’s pregnancy requires restrictions. Los Angeles employment attorneys often have to explain another important protection denied independent contractors: Anti-discrimination laws. workplace discrimination Los Angeles

Approximately 1 in 7 jobs in America is classified as independent contractor or some other contingent-employment arrangement. This amounts to millions of Americans – roughly 14 percent in all, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – whose work as freelancers, consultants, temporary agency laborers and contractors who are denied protections against discrimination for their age, race, gender, religion and disability. So for instance, while most employees can expect to be protected from age discrimination from their employer when they reach the age of 40, a freelancer has no such guarantee.

There are some analyses that suggest the unprotected workforce could be even larger. For instance, the California-based Staffing Industry Analysts recently released information indicating roughly 30 percent of American workers could be counted in the “contingent workforce.” The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission makes it clear that anti-discrimination statutes exempt independent contractors as well as those working for employment agencies. Sometimes, anti-discrimination protections depend on the number of employees a company has.  Continue Reading ›

Even as the issue of maternity leave for birth mothers is yet largely unsettled at many workplaces, questions pertaining to the rights of fathers, LGBTQ couples and adoptive parents has been largely left open.FMLA attorney

Of course, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 makes it clear that new parents are entitled to at least 12 weeks of unpaid leave, and this applies to fathers as well as mothers and adoptive parents. However, few families can afford for even one parent to take that amount of unpaid time off work. Many workplaces will offer birth mothers paid leave, but the question is whether it’s lawful to offer disparate levels of leave to other classifications of new parents.

A case recently taken on by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the first such federal regulator lawsuit targeting parental leave policies granting more time to new mothers than new fathers. The settlement marks a shift in how both regulators and corporations are likely to respond to such policies.  Continue Reading ›

A recent decision in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky has fortified the protections of FMLA lawyerFamily and Medical Leave Act, enforcing one of the core intentions of the act: that an employee should not have to work while on leave or be punished for not being able to work during that time. The case revolves around a government employee in Kentucky working in waste management. Almost immediately after receiving a promotion, plaintiff broke his leg in an accident unrelated to work and was not able to complete training for a commercial driver’s license necessary for the new job, according to a report from Workforce.

A collective bargaining agreement allowed plaintiff three months to obtain his CDL for the job. The company, however, counted the time plaintiff was out from work on FMLA leave toward those three months. When he did not complete his training in time, he was terminated, even though doing so would have been impossible with a broken leg. He sued the company for FMLA violation. Continue Reading ›

For many employees, a new child in the family creates an emotional conflict between the need to be at work and the need to be at home. California law currently allows parents to take unpaid leave in order to bond with a new child. Unfortunately, this only applies to employers over a certain size, and millions of workers in California have been left without the legal right to parental leave. Now, a new bill signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in October 2017 will extend child bonding leave to employees of small businesses, as well. FMLA attorneys Continue Reading ›

Employees’ rights to take family leave are protected by federal law. The Family Medical Leave Act ensures that employees will not be terminated for taking leaves of absence for qualifying circumstances. California employees whose rights are violated can take legal action against their employers.FMLA attorneys

According to the Department of Labor, the FMLA provides employees with up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave per year. The employee may not be fired during this time, and group health benefits must be maintained by the employer. Qualifying family leave can be obtained for: birth or care of a newborn; placement of a foster or adoptive child with the employee; to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition; or when the employee is unable to work due to a serious health condition. Despite the fact that FMLA has been the law since 1993, employers continue to violate this law.

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FMLA, or the Family and Medical Leave Act, is a federal statute that guarantees certain employees up to 12 work-weeks worth of unpaid leave annually, without fear of losing their job. The law requires that workers covered by the law maintain worker health benefits during this time, and is intended to help workers balance their family and work responsibilities by granting them the ability to take a reasonable amount of unpaid leave for certain medical and family reasons. It also seeks to help the legitimate interests of employers and promote equal opportunity for men and women. It can be used in a number of different circumstances, including the birth of a child or to care for an immediate family member or spouse who is suffering a serious health condition.sad

In the recent case of Chumbley v. Board of Education for Peoria District 150, a school district employee has filed an FMLA lawsuit in federal court in Illinois, alleging he was fired because he went on FMLA leave act. As the Society for Human Resource Management reports, the district fired him while he was on leave, with administrators insisting it was because two unrelated performance-related issues were discovered during that time. However, a remark made by plaintiff’s supervisor regarding his FMLA leave supports his claim that the termination was in large part due to the fact that he took this protected leave.

According to court records, plaintiff was hired in 2005 as a director of research, testing and assessment. The position was to last three years, after which time it would be renewed automatically every year, unless the district gave notice that it wouldn’t be renewed by April of the contract year. In March 2010, the district informed plaintiff that it intended to reassign him to a teaching post, but then re-hired him as a director position as an employee-at-will. Continue Reading ›

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal statute intended to enable workers who need to take leave for legitimate personal and family needs and medical reasons to do so without retribution. A company that retaliates against a worker for using these guaranteed safety net can be held liable in court and ordered to pay damages to the worker. airline

In the case of Sharif v. United Airlines, Inc., a plaintiff argued this was exactly what happened to him. However, the employer argued the worker had fraudulently taken FMLA leave in order to extend his vacation and further that he made dishonest representations when the company launched an investigation of it.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ultimately sided with the employer, finding the worker had not established a triable issue of fact that the airline truly fired him for taking leave, rather than fraudulently taking leave and then lying about it.  Continue Reading ›

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