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Denied FMLA Leave To Care For A New Child, Sick Relative Or Yourself?


There are sensitive times in life that may require you to take a leave of absence from work to focus on family matters or personal health. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows you take time off to attend to a newborn or newly adopted child, to care for a seriously ill family member, or for your own serious health condition.

Your job is protected during FMLA leave, which means you are entitled to return to the exact position you held or a similar position with the same compensation. However, some employers are hostile to FMLA rights. They may deny the requested leave, threaten termination, fail to protect the employee’s job or punish the employee in other ways. It is illegal for employers to deny a reasonable FMLA request or retaliate for taking leave.

If an employer is violating your FMLA rights, the Indianapolis-based employment lawyers of Cleveland Lehner Cassidy can help. Arrange a free case evaluation at 317-953-2600.


What Does The Family And Medical Leave Act Cover?

The FMLA applies to private or public entities with 50 or more employees and covers employees who have worked 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to leave. This federal law permits up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave over a 12-month period to care for a child, a relative or yourself. In addition to job protection, you will continue to have group health insurance with the same coverage as before you took leave. Your leave can be granted as 12 consecutive weeks or as intermittent leave where you continue your work between shorter increments of leave.

Employees have some obligations as well. You must explain why you are taking FMLA leave, which may include documentation from medical providers. You must give your employer sufficient notice of leave and stay in communication about your status and when you will return.

What Are Common FMLA Violations?

Employer actions that violate the Family and Medical Leave Act :

  • Your employer never notifies you of your FMLA rights
  • Your boss refuses to grant FMLA leave
  • You are disciplined or retaliated against for requesting or taking FMLA leave
  • Your intermittent leave is improperly calculated or treated as unexcused absence
  • Your employer refuses to reinstate you in the same or similar position when you return
  • Your employment is terminated while you are on leave
  • Your employer shares private information about your health condition without your consent

What Are The Legal Remedies In An FMLA Claim?

If your employer has violated your rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act, you can hold them accountable with help from a skilled attorney. Cleveland Lehner Cassidy can help you seek all available remedies:

  • Back pay – lost wages caused by termination or an FMLA violation
  • Front pay – future earnings during the time you are seeking a new equivalent position
  • Liquidated damages – essentially doubling your back pay and front pay awards, unless the employer can prove the violation was unintentional
  • Attorney’s fees – if you win a lawsuit against your employer
  • Reinstatement – getting your original job back or a comparable position

The FMLA does not provide for compensation for emotional trauma or punitive damages.

We Make Employers Do The Right Thing

To find out if you can hold your employer accountable for violating your FMLA rights, schedule a free case evaluation. You can call our Indianapolis law office at 317-953-2600 or use our online form to tell us a few details. We handle FMLA cases statewide.