Famighetti & Weinick PLLC are Long Island FMLA lawyers. Our lawyers are experienced in representing employees who have been denied FMLA leave, retaliated against for taking FMLA leave, or who otherwise have questions about FMLA leave.
The FMLA (an acronym for the Family Medical Leave Act) is a federal law that allows employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave for certain reasons. The FMLA only applies to certain covered employers, including employers in New York and on Long Island, that fall into one of the following categories: 1) private-sector employers with 50 or more employees who worked in 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year; 2) public agencies, including agencies on the local, state, and federal level, regardless of the number of employees; or 3) local educational agencies, including public school boards, public elementary and secondary schools, and private elementary and secondary schools, regardless of the number of employees.
Employers covered by the FMLA have an obligation to provide employees with general notice of their rights under the FMLA. First, the employer must display a poster informing employees of their rights under the FMLA, including how to file a complaint. In addition, the employer must provide any FMLA eligible employees with notice about the FMLA, either in an employee handbook or by distributing the aforementioned poster to each employee.
An employee must generally satisfy four prerequisites to qualify for FMLA leave: 1) the employee works for a covered employer; 2) the employee has worked for the employer for at least 12 months; 3) the employee has worked for the employer for at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately preceding the leave; and 4) the employee works at a location where the employer employs at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius of that worksite. The 12 months of employment do not have to be consecutive, unless the break in employment lasted seven years or more.
FMLA eligible employees are entitled up to 12 workweeks of leave in a 12-month period. The qualifying reasons for FMLA leave are: 1) the birth of a child, including time to bond with the child, within one year of birth; 2) the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care, including time to bond with the newly-placed child, within one year of placement; 3) a serious health condition preventing the employee from performing the essential functions of his or her job; 4) to care for a spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition; and 5) any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a spouse, child, or parent is a military member on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status.
Employees are generally required to provide employers with notice of FMLA leave at least 30 days in advance. If the need for leave is less than 30 days from the date of request then the employee must provide notice as soon as is practicable under the circumstances. Moreover, when giving notice, employees must abide by the employer's customary and specific requirements for giving notice of leave, and must provide the employer with enough detail to enable the employer to reasonably determine whether the time off qualifies as FMLA leave.
Once an employee is ready to return to work following FMLA leave, the employer must restore the employee to his or her original job, or to an equivalent job with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment. The employee should also be able to maintain his or her health insurance benefits under the employer's group health insurance plan, if applicable.
New York State has also enacted the New York State Paid Family Leave Act. The PFLA allows employees to take leave to bond with a new born, care for a family member with a serious medical condition, or to help a family faced with pressures from a family member participating in active military service abroad.
The Long Island employment law firm Famighetti & Weinick PLLC is experienced in handling all types of cases involving FMLA leave. Some examples of cases that our employment lawyers handle include an employer denying an employee FMLA leave, retaliating against an employee for taking or asking for FMLA leave, or refusing to restore an employee to the same or similar job after returning from FMLA leave. If you have any questions about FMLA leave, or believe you have been wrongfully denied or retaliated against for taking FMLA leave, do not hesitate to contact the employment lawyers at Famighetti & Weinick PLLC today.