Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a far-reaching labor law that prohibits employers from losing their job when they take medical leave for their own health reasons, or to care for a family member. People often think of the FMLA with respect to pregnancy and maternity leave, but the FMLA covers many situations other than pregnancy.

In general, the FMLA allows employees of qualified employers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off from work during a 12 month period. The time may be taken all at once, or it may be spread out of the course of the 12 month period. Although the FMLA does not require that your employer pay you while you are on medical leave, the FMLA does require that your employer hold your job for you.

At Katz Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck, our Chicago FMLA attorneys focus on protecting employees whose employers have violated the provisions of the FMLA and denied them the medical leave to which they were entitled. If you believe that your employer has violated the FMLA, do not hesitate to contact the skilled Chicago FMLA lawyers at Katz Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck at (312) 263-6330 to schedule a free consultation.

What Employers are Subject to the FMLA?

The FMLA applies to those employers who have more than 50 employees within 75 miles of each other. Accordingly, if you work for an employer who has less than 50 employees, you are not entitled to FMLA leave. That does not mean that your employer may not choose to provide you with medical leave, but it is not legally required to do so.

Similarly, if you work for an employer with more than 50 employees, but the employees are geographically separated, your employer may not be subject to the terms of the FMLA.

What Employees are Covered by the FMLA?

If your employer is large enough to be subject to the FMLA, you will be entitled to the unpaid medical leave once you have earned the medical leave through sufficient service. The FMLA provides that an employee must work for a company for at least 12 months and must have worked at least 1250 hours within a 12 month period in order to be eligible for medical leave.

The FMLA also limits medical leave to serious medical conditions. Employers often require that an employee provide physician certification that medical leave is necessary. If an employee is using FMLA leave to recover from a planned surgery, it is highly recommended that the employee request the medical leave and obtain employer approval well in advance of the surgery.

How can We Help?

The FMLA is an incredibly complex law, with several nuances and necessary procedures. Accordingly, if you have been inappropriately denied FMLA leave by your employer, you may wish to hire a skilled labor attorney who understands the law, as well as the practical effects and implications of the law. The labor law firm of Katz Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck focuses on representing plaintiffs in FMLA disputes, as well as employment discrimination cases and wage /hour lawsuits.

Contact the skilled Chicago employment lawyers at Katz Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck at (312) 263-6330 to schedule a free consultation if you have been denied FMLA medical leave.