Taking A Leave Of Absence Under the FMLA

Due to certain life events, employees often have to choose between their own health or family and their jobs. Fortunately, the federal government has protections in place to allow eligible employees to take a leave of absence and still have a job to come back to.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was enacted in 1993 to provide protections for employees who must take an extended period of time away from work. Certain conditions must be met by both the employer and employee for the leave to be federally protected. With more than 80 years of collective experience in a variety of employment law cases, our dedicated legal team is prepared to answer your questions and provide the strong representation you need if your rights were violated.

If you meet the eligibility requirements under the FMLA, you are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period. There are numerous life events that fall under the FMLA protection, including:

  • The birth and care for a newborn child
  • The placement of a child for adoption or foster care
  • The care of the employee's spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition
  • If the employee suffers from a serious health condition

Additionally, an employee might qualify for military caregiver leave under certain circumstances.

Employer Eligibility

Just as the employee must meet certain eligibility requirements, he or she must be working for a qualified employer. Some of the standards that must be met include:

  • The employer must have 50 or more employees within 75 miles of the place of employment.
  • The employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months.
  • The employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours in the last 12 months.

Whether you are facing personal or family medical issues, or other family issues, it is crucial that you fully understand your rights. An experienced New York City employment law attorney can thoroughly answer your questions and provide the guidance you need.

You May Have the Right to Medical Leave Even if the FMLA Does Not Apply to You

You may have the right to take a leave of absence from your job even if you work for a small employer, have not worked for a full year or have exhausted your FMLA benefits. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) and New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) each require employers to provide reasonable accommodation to employees with disabilities. Short-term leave without pay is considered a reasonable accommodation. Many illnesses and injuries, even temporary illnesses and injuries, are considered disabilities under the ADA, NYSHRL and NYCHRL . Since every job is different, it is impossible to say exactly how much leave is considered "reasonable" in every situation. It is important to keep the lines of communication open with your employer by letting the employer know when you expect to be able to return to work and providing a minimal amount of medical information if requested. We can help you navigate these issues.

New York City Paid Sick Leave Act

Employees in New York City, even part-time and domestic workers, have the right to paid sick leave. Your rights depend on how long you have worked for your employer. See http://www1.nyc.gov/site/dca/about/paid-sick-leave-employees.page for more information.

Fear Of Retaliation

It is not uncommon for employees to simply accept an employer's answer without question for fear of being retaliated against. Retaliation can include termination, reduction in hours, a shift change or being passed over for a deserved promotion. In recent decades, the government has developed numerous protections for employees and many of these specifically address retaliation. Don't be afraid to fight for your rights. If your employer violated your FMLA benefits or your rights under the disability discrimination laws — intentionally or accidentally — let our firm help you. We will attempt to negotiate a beneficial settlement in your case. If an agreement cannot be reached, we are confident in our ability to represent you in court.

Contact Us

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