What to Do When Your FMLA Rights Are Violated

What to Do When Your FMLA Rights Are Violated - Mike Christensen Law, Columbus OH

Handling FMLA Rights Violations in Columbus, OH

When an employee’s rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) are violated, it can create a significant disruption not only to their professional life but also to their personal well-being. This blog offers guidance specifically tailored for employees in Columbus, Ohio, detailing the steps you should take if you believe your FMLA rights have been violated.

Step 1: Confirm Your Eligibility and Rights 

First, ensure you are clear on the FMLA requirements. To be eligible, you must have worked for your employer for at least 12 months, accumulated at least 1,250 hours of service during the 12 months prior to the start of leave, and work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius. FMLA allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for serious health conditions, to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child.

Step 2: Document Everything

If you suspect a violation, start documenting every relevant interaction and piece of communication related to your FMLA leave. Keep copies of your leave requests, any medical documentation you’ve provided, emails, and notes from conversations with HR or your supervisor about your leave. This documentation can be crucial if you need to escalate your concerns.

Step 3: Address the Issue Internally

Often, FMLA violations result from misunderstandings or lack of knowledge about the law on the part of employers. Before taking legal action, try to resolve the issue internally. Speak with your HR department or direct supervisor about the issue. Clearly explain why you believe your rights are being violated, using specific references to FMLA regulations.

Step 4: Consult with an FMLA Attorney

If internal efforts don’t resolve the issue, it’s advisable to consult with an FMLA attorney. Legal experts can offer guidance based on the specifics of your situation and the documentation you’ve collected. An attorney can also help prepare you for the possibility of filing a formal complaint.

Step 5: File a Complaint

You have the option to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, which enforces FMLA. Alternatively, or additionally, you can pursue remedies through the Ohio Civil Rights Commission if discrimination is a factor in how your FMLA rights were handled.

Step 6: Understand Ohio’s Specific Protections

Although Ohio does not have state laws that expand upon FMLA for most private-sector employees, understanding how related state laws might impact your case is important. For example, Ohio’s laws regarding disability (which includes pregnancy) and military family leave could offer additional protections.

Step 7: Be Prepared for Litigation

If necessary, your attorney might recommend litigation to resolve your FMLA dispute. This step should be considered carefully, as litigation can be lengthy and stressful. However, it may be necessary to fully vindicate your rights and receive any potential damages for lost wages, reinstatement, or other remedies.

Having your FMLA rights violated can be a challenging experience, especially when dealing with personal or family health issues. Employees in Columbus, Ohio, should be proactive in understanding their rights under both federal and state laws and take appropriate actions to defend those rights. Consulting with an FMLA attorney early in the process can provide a clear path forward and help ensure that your rights are protected.

Call Attorney Mike!

Don’t let uncertainty or workplace challenges deter your rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act. At Mike Christensen Law Offices, we’re here to guide you through the complexities and ensure your rights are fully protected. If you’re facing difficulties with FMLA leave or suspect your rights have been compromised, it’s time to act. Schedule your consultation with our experienced Family and Medical Leave Act attorneys in Columbus, Ohio, and let our expert team empower you with the knowledge and support you need. Your peace of mind and job security are our top priorities. Contact us now and take the first step towards safeguarding your professional future.

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