ATTN FEDERAL EMPLOYEES: Attorney Jay Stafford Discusses Whether Losing Your Security Clearance Means Losing Your Government Job in FEDweek
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Federal FMLA Lawyer Representing Government Employees Nationwide

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal statute that entitles employees of qualifying employers to unpaid, job-protected leave under various circumstances. The federal government is one of these qualifying employers. Unfortunately, federal agency personnel mishandles FMLA leave requests in many cases, and this leaves many employees in need of an experienced federal FMLA attorney.

If you have been improperly denied leave under the FMLA, or if you have experienced discrimination at work after requesting or taking FMLA leave, you may have a claim against the government. Just like employers in the private sector, the federal government can – and should – be held liable when it violates employees’ statutory rights. Federal FMLA lawyer Jay Stafford can determine if you are entitled to compensation, job restoration, or other remedies; and, if you are, his team can assert your legal rights on your behalf.

Federal Employees’ Rights Under the FMLA

Under Title II of the FMLA, most federal employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave during any 12-month period if they need time off to care for themselves or their family members. Specifically, federal employees with at least 12 months of tenure can take FMLA leave in the following circumstances:

  • A serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her position with the government
  • The birth of the employee’s child and the care of their child
  • The placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care
  • The care of spouse, child, or parent of the employee who has a serious health condition
  • Any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a spouse, child or parent of the employee is on covered active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty) in the U.S. Armed Forces

Some federal employees also qualify for leave under Title I of the FMLA. While the grounds for taking leave under Title I and Title II are the same, employees who fall under Title I are entitled to slightly different protections. Federal employees who may qualify for leave under Title I of the FMLA include:

  • Federal employees on a temporary appointment of 12 months or less
  • Federal employees on an intermittent appointment
  • Employees of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and Postal Rate Commission
  • Certain employees of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), and Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

As an eligible federal employee, once you notify the government of your desire to take FMLA leave, the government must provide you with unpaid, job-protected leave in accordance with the statute’s requirements. Among other things, this means that you must be placed in your prior position or an "equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay, status, and other terms and conditions of employment” upon your return to work.

Did the Federal Government Violate Your FMLA Rights?

If you work for the federal government and you have been denied leave under the FMLA, faced roadblocks when attempting to assert your rights under the FMLA, or faced other unfair treatment after requesting or returning from FMLA leave, the government may have violated your legal rights. Some common examples of FMLA violations include:

  • Improperly requesting verification of your FMLA eligibility
  • Failure to provide FMLA leave
  • Failure to place you in your prior position or an equivalent position on your return
  • Discrimination based on your request for FMLA leave
  • Discrimination based on your decision to take FMLA leave

Discrimination in employment can take many different forms. This includes everything from demoting and withdrawing access to confidential information to denying the opportunity to work at home. If you have any reason to suspect that you have experienced discrimination in the federal workplace after attempting to exercise your legal rights, you should speak with a federal FMLA attorney promptly.

Get Help Protecting Your Rights Under the FMLA

If the federal government has violated your rights under the FMLA, you are entitled to remedies which may include back pay, front pay, other damages, and/or restoration of your employment. Do not simply accept the hand you have been dealt. Hire an experienced FMLA attorney to help you take legal action and hold the government accountable.

Speak with Federal FMLA Attorney Jay Stafford in Confidence

Jay Stafford is an experienced federal FMLA attorney who can help you stand up for your legal rights. To learn more about your FMLA rights, call 410-514-6099 or request a confidential consultation online today.