Family medical leave has become a hot-button political issue as the race for the presidency heats up. Workers are often left behind in the political spectrum in Michigan and across the country. It is easy to forget that there are certain rights that employees have to prevent denial of benefits, illegal workplace discrimination and wrongful termination. One aspect that must be kept in mind is the Family and Medical Leave Act.
FMLA dictates that certain employers are required to give employees as much as 12 weeks of unpaid leave under various circumstances. FMLA is meant to allow workers who have a family member who is suffering from a serious illness, have just had a baby and are seeking paternity or maternity leave, and employees who are adopting a child to have time off without fear of losing their jobs. FMLA applicability is contingent on the size of the employer’s business, how long the worker has been employed there and the number of hours that the worker has completed during the previous year.
It is allowable to take leave based on FMLA if the worker has a serious medical issue, is pregnant and had conditions related to that, or for the above-listed reasons of caring for an ill family member. Included in the list of family members are spouses, parents, children, a domestic partner of the same sex, grandparents and grandchildren. It is irrelevant if the relative is biological, a foster child or is adopted. These individuals are also eligible for FMLA.
Although the law is clear on this matter, there are still situations in which FMLA is denied or workers are pressured not to exercise their rights to take this leave. When this occurs or a person has lost his or her job because of using FMLA, it is important to seek legal assistance from an attorney who is experienced in helping clients to stand up for their employee rights. Our Detroit-based law firm knows how to handle cases involving FMLA violations. Our firm’s website contains helpful information on this topic and many others relating to employees’ rights.