Falling prey to serious illness or caring for a loved one in need is hard enough without worrying about having a job when it’s over. The United States passed the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and subsequent regulations to help alleviate that worry.
However, sometimes, employers in Georgia violate the FMLA when employees take an extended leave of absence. The FMLA guarantees that employees who meet the qualifications can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per 12-month period to deal with family or medical issues such as those caused by COVID-19. When an employer violates workers’ FMLA rights, a Georgia employment law attorney could help the worker obtain relief, including compensation.
Rights Under the FMLA
The FMLA provides job-protected leave for the time taken to deal with personal illness or care for an immediate family member. During that time, the employer is supposed to provide continued group health insurance coverage in the same way as if the employee was still working.
Up to 12 weeks of leave is allowed for:
- Parents dealing with the birth and care of an infant
- Placement of a child through adoption or foster care
- Caring for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition
- Treatment and recovery when an employee suffers a serious health condition
- Family emergencies when an immediate family member is serving on active military duty
In addition, if an employee needs to care for an injured child, parent, or spouse who is a member of the military service, that employee is eligible for up to 26 weeks of protected leave.
Pursuing Action Against Employers Who Violate FMLA Rights
If your employer has tried to make you use paid leave before allowing you to use FMLA leave, or fired or retaliated against you for taking the leave, talk to an FMLA lawyer in Georgia to find out if you are eligible for legal relief.
Employers are not allowed to penalize you for taking FMLA leave due to sickness or injury occurring to yourself or anyone in your immediate family. After taking that leave, you must be allowed to return to your old position without losing any part of your salary or benefits. If your old job is no longer available, the employer must offer you a position that is fully equivalent to your old job.
Legal Remedies for FMLA Violations in Georgia
If your employer has punished you in any way for exercising your rights under FMLA, The Leach Firm, P.A. could help you seek justice. You may be eligible for damages, in addition to having your position reinstated.
Damages can include amounts to replace lost salary and restitution for emotional distress, loss of benefits, losing insurance coverage, and other harm resulting from the employer’s actions. We may even be able to require the employer to pay your attorney’s fees and costs.
Talk to an Experienced FMLA Lawyer in Georgia
If you believe that your employer has taken unlawful action against you for using your FMLA rights, call the experienced Georgia employment lawyers at The Leach Firm, P.A.
We could help you take legal action to force your employer to make things right. Talk to an experienced FMLA attorney today for a free consultation and case evaluation.