Many people are aware that the federal Family and Medical Leave Act does not necessarily apply to every worker. The law has limitations on when it applies. Generally, the FMLA applies to companies with 50 or more workers. A qualified employee is entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the act for a variety of specified medical reasons.
To qualify for protection under the federal FMLA, a worker generally must have worked for the employer for 12 months, and worked at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months. Families of covered military servicemembers may be entitled to more than 12 weeks under the law, according to the Department of Labor.
But, it is important to discuss medical leave issues when they arise with an employment law lawyer. A recent court decision highlights for people in South Florida how the laws may be more complex than they appear at first glance. A woman says in a recent lawsuit that she was fired after just 10 months with her employer.
The woman learned that she was pregnant and told a supervisor that she planned to take FMLA leave to care for her child when the time came roughly six months later. She says that two weeks passed and her supervisor then told her to look for another job, or transfer to a different job at the company with less responsibility. Less than a week later, the woman was fired. She sued her former employer under the FMLA and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
In the next post, this blog will discuss the allegations that are contained in the woman's FMLA violation and pregnancy discrimination lawsuit. In addition, the discussion will consider what a federal judge ruled on the applicability of the FMLA restrictions on the woman's claim when she had not yet qualified for protected leave based upon the length of her employment.
Source: Business Management Daily, "Court: FMLA may cover not-yet-eligible employees," Nov. 8, 2012