Beverly Hills Family and Medical Leave Act Attorney
Employees in Beverly Hills have certain rights when it comes to taking time off from work. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that provides certain employees with up to 12 business weeks of unpaid leave per year without the risk of losing their role permanently. The FMLA also provides for 26 weeks of leave to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness. This leave is designed to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities. If you are looking to enact your right to take leave under the FMLA or have experienced retaliation from your employer for taking FMLA leave, you should contact a Beverly Hills family and medical leave act lawyer immediately.
At the Law Offices of Miguel S. Ramirez, our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys can help you navigate the family medical leave act and protect your rights. We have successfully represented clients in various FMLA cases, including unpaid leave, job protection, and retaliation.
When Are Employees Entitled to Take Family or Medical Leave?
Specific criteria must be met for an employee to qualify for FMLA protection. To take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, the employee must:
- Have a serious health condition. The employee must have a serious diagnosed health condition that makes them unable to perform their job duties. Some common serious health conditions include cancer, stroke, and heart attack. The intent of the FMLA is to provide employees with job protection from unexpected and potentially lengthy absences, which many health conditions can cause.
- A spouse, child, or parent has a serious health condition. An employee is also entitled to take FMLA leave if their spouse, child, or parent has a serious health condition. This leave can be used to provide care and support to families dealing with serious health conditions. This is a valuable option for people who either need to take care of their family members or do not want to be away from them during a difficult time.
- The employee has a newborn, newly-adopted, or newly-placed foster child. Employees are also able to take FMLA leave for the addition of a new child to their family. This is a great option for parents who want to bond with their new child or need to take some time off to adjust to the new family dynamic. Between work and caring for a new baby, many parents find they need extra time at home to get everything done.
If you believe you are entitled to take FMLA leave, but your employer is not cooperating, contact a Beverly Hills family and medical leave act lawyer to begin exploring your legal options.
What Are an Employee’s Rights Under the FMLA?
The FMLA provides certain employees with legal rights that they can enforce if their employer tries to violate them. These rights include:
- The right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year. As long as the employee meets the eligibility requirements, they are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for a qualifying event. This sick leave can be taken all at once or intermittently as needed.
- The right to job protection. One of the most important aspects of the FMLA is that it provides job protection for employees who take leave. This means an employer cannot fire an employee or take any other retaliatory action against them for taking FMLA leave. In addition, when an employee returns from FMLA leave, they are entitled to be reinstated to their previous position or an equivalent position.
- The right to continuation of health insurance coverage. An employee’s health insurance coverage must be maintained while they are on FMLA leave. This means the employee is not responsible for paying premiums during their leave and will still have coverage when they return.
- The right to accrue seniority. An employee’s seniority will continue to accrue while they are on FMLA leave. This means they will not lose any benefits or privileges that they have earned based on their length of service.
These are just a few of the rights that employees have under the FMLA, and they can be enforced by a Beverly Hills family and medical leave act lawyer if necessary.
Common Misconceptions About FMLA
Although the FMLA is a well-known law, there are still many misconceptions about it. Some of the most common misconceptions include:
- FMLA only applies to major health events. Many people believe that the FMLA only applies to major health events, such as a heart attack or stroke. However, the FMLA applies to any serious health condition that prevents an employee from performing their job. This can include conditions like cancer, pregnancy, and mental health conditions.
- FMLA leave is always unpaid. Although FMLA leave is typically unpaid, there are some circumstances in which an employee may be eligible for paid leave. For example, if an employee has accrued paid time off, they may be able to use that time to cover their FMLA leave. In addition, some employers may choose to provide paid FMLA leave as a benefit to their employees.
- FMLA leave can be taken intermittently. Many people believe that FMLA leave must be taken all at once. However, this is not the case. Employees are allowed to take FMLA leave intermittently, which means they can take it in small blocks of time as needed. This can be helpful for employees who need to take care of a sick family member or deal with their own health issues.
- FMLA leave can be taken for any reason. Although FMLA leave can be taken for any qualifying event, it cannot be taken for any reason. For example, an employee cannot take FMLA leave to go on vacation or take care of personal business.
These are just a few of the most common misconceptions about FMLA. If you have any questions about your rights under the FMLA, a Beverly Hills family leave act lawyer can help.
Employer Consequences for Violating FMLA
There are a number of consequences that an employer may face if they violate the FMLA, and those consequences will depend on the context of the violation. Examples include:
- Fines. The Department of Labor can impose fines on employers who violate the FMLA. These fines can range depending on the severity of the violation and whether the violation was intentional.
- Back pay. Employees who are denied their rightful FMLA leave may be entitled to back pay for their wages. This means they will be paid for the time they would have been working had their employer not violated the FMLA.
- Compensatory damages. Employees may also be entitled to compensatory damages, which are designed to compensate any losses incurred from their employer’s violation of the FMLA.
- Reinstatement. Employees who are fired or forced to quit because of their employer’s violation of the FMLA may be entitled to reinstatement. This means they will be given their job back and be able to continue working for their employer.
FAQs About Beverly Hills, CA Family and Medical Leave Act Law
Can My Employer Deny My FMLA in California?
Employers cannot deny an employee’s right to take FMLA leave, as everyone has the right to leverage this leave type if they need it. However, they can deny the employee’s request for leave if it does not meet the criteria outlined in the FMLA. If you disagree with your employer’s decision to deny your leave, you can advance the claim to seek a change in the ruling.
How Do You Get Paid for FMLA in California?
There are a few different ways that employees can get paid while they are out on FMLA leave. If the employee has any accrued paid leave time, such as vacation or sick days, they can use this time to cover their FMLA leave. Additionally, some employers allow employees to use their paid time off (PTO) to cover FMLA leave. If neither option is available, or if the employee does not have enough leave time to cover their FMLA leave, they may only be eligible for unpaid leave.
How Long Does an Employer Have to Hold Your Job in California?
Employers must hold an employee’s job for their FMLA leave. This means when the employee returns from leave, they should be able to pick up right where they left off, with no negative repercussions. If the job no longer exists, the employer must make a reasonable effort to place the employee in a comparable position. If the employer cannot do so, the employee may be entitled to compensation.
Can an Employer Ask for a Doctor’s Note for FMLA in California?
To qualify for FMLA leave, an employee must have a serious health condition. A doctor’s note can verify this. However, an employer cannot require an employee to provide a doctor’s note until after the employee has already been on leave for more than three days. At that point, the employer can request that the employee provide a doctor’s note verifying the severe health condition. If the employee does not give the doctor’s note, the employer can deny the request for FMLA leave until proper documentation is provided.
Contact the Law Offices of Miguel S. Ramirez Today
If your employer has violated your rights under the FMLA, contact the Law Offices of Miguel S. Ramirez today. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling these cases, with a portfolio of satisfied clients. Contact us today to discuss your case and take the necessary steps to protect your family medical leave act rights.