The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Baltimore FMLA Attorney

In 1993, Congress passed the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, which entitles certain employees to up to three months of unpaid leave per year for family and medical reasons. Qualified employees are also guaranteed that their job will be protected while they are gone and that their group health benefits will continue to be maintained. Although many employers comply with the FMLA’s provisions, an alarming number do not, so if you were denied leave or another statutorily-protected right, it is critical to speak with an experienced Baltimore FMLA attorney who can help you hold your employer accountable.

Employees Covered by the FMLA

The FMLA applies to specific types of employees, including those who work for:

  • Public agencies;
  • Elementary and secondary schools; and
  • Companies with 50 or more employees.

These employees are covered by the FMLA and so are guaranteed up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year. However, employees will only be granted FMLA leave for specific reasons, including:

  • For the birth and care of a newborn child;
  • For placement of a child for adoption;
  • For pregnancy-related health complications;
  • To care for an adopted child within one year of placement;
  • To care for a spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition; or
  • When the employee is unable to work due to a serious health condition.

Leave can be extended up to 26 weeks if an employee must care for a spouse, child, parent, or next of a kin who is a service member with a serious injury.

Prerequisites for Baltimore Employees

Even if an employer is covered by the FMLA, an employee must fulfill certain requirements before he or she can take FMLA leave. For example, an employee must:

  • Have worked for his or her employer for at least one year;
  • Have worked at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months; and
  • Work at a location where the company employs more than 50 employees within a 75 mile radius.

Whether an employee has worked for the minimum number of hours required by the FMLA is determined based on guidelines contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

FMLA Prohibited Acts

Covered employers are strictly prohibited from denying or interfering with an employee’s rights under the FMLA, which means that they cannot:

  • Discriminate or retaliate against an employee because he or she attempted to exercise an FMLA right; or
  • Fire or discriminate against an employee for filing a FMLA-related charge, providing information to authorities in connection with a FMLA-related inquiry, or testifying in a proceeding related to rights guaranteed by the FMLA.

When an employer violates these rules, it can be forced to compensate the wronged employees by reinstating them to their prior positions, paying back wages, and providing reimbursement for medical bills that should have been covered by group insurance.

Contact an Experienced Baltimore FMLA Attorney Today 

If you were denied leave by your employer or were fired for pointing out an employer’s violation of the FMLA, please call The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, L.L.C. at (410) 514-6099 today to speak with a dedicated and compassionate FMLA attorney who can evaluate your case and ensure that your rights are protected.