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Family & Medical Leave Act Law

Trusted & Experienced Attorneys

Family & Medical Leave Act Law

Trusted & Experienced Attorneys

Michigan Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) CLaims

We advise all employees to contact an attorney after receiving a severance agreement. In our experience, employers are more likely to enhance your severance pay and benefits when a lawyer negotiates on your behalf.

In addition to greater severance pay, our attorneys have been successful in negotiating changes in termination classification, from terminated to resigned, and in securing agreements to provide positive job references. We also will review your employer’s actions for any unlawful acts during your employment that may entitle you to additional compensation.

FMLA Eligibility

After determining whether the employer provides FMLA leave, the next step is to determine whether the employee who believes his or rights have been violated qualifies for FMLA leave. In order to qualify, an employee must meet the following requirements:

  • 1) Employee must be employed by the eligible employer for at least twelve months previous to the leave commencing (although the this 12-month period need not be consecutive);
  • 2) Employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months (which translates roughly to slightly less than 25 hours a week).

Burdens on the Employee

If the need for FMLA leave is foreseeable, such as an upcoming operation, the employee must give the employer 30 days’ advanced notice. If the need for leave is not foreseeable, the employee is burdened with giving the employer as much leave as is possible for that employee.

When providing notice to his or her employer, the employee must provide enough information for the employer to ascertain that the requested leave qualifies under the FMLA. The employee need not mention the FMLA exactly by name, but also, simply calling in sick does not meet the burden placed upon the employee. The employer does have the right to request medical certification of an employees serious health condition.

Qualifying Conditions

Although this list is certainly far from exhaustive, some of the most common situations in which FMLA leave is used are listed below:

  • for the birth and care of the newborn child of an employee;
  • for placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care;
  • to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent, no sibling) with a serious health condition; or
  • to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.

If you have any questions regarding whether your condition meets the requirements of the FMLA, please do not hesitate to give our experienced attorneys a call.

Military Family Leave

The FMLA also provides certain military family leave entitlements. Employees can take FMLA leave for certain reasons related to specific military deployments. Additionally, employees can take up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave in a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness.

Retaliation and Burdens of the Employer under the FMLA

It is illegal for an employer to demote, fire or otherwise take an adverse action against an employee for taking FMLA leave. It is also a mandate of the FMLA that the employer return an employee taking FMLA leave to the same job that the employee left to go on FMLA leave, or one that is nearly identical.

If an employee is not returned to the exact same job, the new position must:

  • involve the same or substantially similar duties, responsibilities, and status;
  • include the same general level of skill, effort, responsibility and authority;
  • offer identical pay, including equivalent premium pay, overtime and bonus opportunities;
  • offer identical benefits (such as life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, sick leave, vacation, educational benefits, pensions, etc.); and
  • offer the same general work schedule and be at the same (or a nearby) location.
  • Please keep in mind that if you exhaust your FMLA leave entitlement and are unable to return to work, your employer is not required to restore you to your position.

    Key Employees

    -Certain key employees may not be guaranteed reinstatement to their positions following FMLA leave. A key employee is defined as a salaried, FMLA-eligible employee who is among the highest paid 10 percent of all the employees working for the employer within 75 miles of the employee’s worksite.

    Teachers - Special rules apply to employees of local education agencies. Generally, these rules apply when an employee needs intermittent leave or when an employee needs leave near the end of a school term.

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