Articles Posted in FMLA

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

A new report on Caregivers in the Workplace, published by the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California’s Hastings College of Law, explores the ways in which family responsibilities have long been a source of workplace discrimination, and how the legal landscape is changing. father1

The report refers to this type of illegal action as “family responsibilities discrimination,” and it stems from an employer’s unwillingness to allow workers to tend to caregiving duties – i.e., pregnancy, motherhood, fatherhood care for family members who are sick or have disabilities and caring for aging or ill parents. The report was based on information from 4,400 family responsibilities discrimination cases.

What researchers are finding in many of theses instances is that employers still don’t seem to understand what their obligations are. They don’t get workers’ rights, they don’t understand what family responsibility discrimination is and they aren’t taking the time to learn how they might be liable for it.  Continue reading

A new study conducted by the National Partnership for Women and Families revealed that California is No. 1 in the country for workplace protections for new parents. familysilouette

Parents and those who are expecting can generally expect a better work-life balance in California than anywhere else in the country, according to researchers in the study, “Expecting Better: A State-by-State Analysis of Laws That Help Expecting and New Parents.” The study looked at the measures states have taken – or not taken – to add to the protections of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), specifically with regard to protections for new parents. Those provisions of the act were added in 1993.

California had the best initiatives in terms of:

  • Paid sick days
  • Paid family medical leave
  • Accommodations for pregnancy
  • Protections at work that went above and beyond FMLA for expecting and nursing moms

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