A high percentage of workers in the United States are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA makes it possible for workers to take job-protected unpaid leave in certain situations. This means that if the workers fulfill all the requirements of the FMLA, they will be able to return to work after their period of leave and not have to worry about facing any form of retaliation.
However, the FMLA does not apply to all workers in the United States, and it does not protect workers in all situations. If you believe that you may have been retaliated against after taking FMLA leave, it is important that you first verify that you were, in fact, eligible for FMLA leave and that the behavior that you experienced constituted retaliation.
Who is covered under the FMLA?
Those who are employed by a company that has 50 or more workers within a 75-mile radius for the past 20 weeks are eligible for workers’ compensation. The employee in question must also have worked for their employer for a minimum of 12 months in total, and they must have worked at least 1250 hours for this employer in the last year.
Those who are covered cannot take leave for any reason. They need to take medical leave for a personal medical reason or a family reason. For example, a pregnant worker may take FMLA leave during their pregnancy or when they give birth.
What type of behavior constitutes retaliation?
Retaliation counts as any type of negative action taken by any employer toward an employee because of their decision to take FMLA leave. Those who take FMLA leave are protected from retaliation, but this does not mean that their employer cannot take negative actions against them for another reason. For example, if a worker breaks a serious rule in their company and proceeds to take FMLA leave, their employer might take action to fire them because of the rule that they broke. This would not count as retaliation, because the firing was not related to the FMLA leave.
If you have been affected by FMLA leave discrimination, make sure that you protect your career by asserting your rights.