Federal law may protect your job in the event of a family or medical emergency that requires you to take time off. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects certain workers who work for large companies, as it allows workers to take unpaid leave in the event that they or their family members have a medical situation that needs to be dealt with.
Unfortunately, not all employers view FMLA time favorably. Some employers will try to discourage workers, threaten adverse consequences and even retaliate against workers who choose to utilize their FMLA privileges. This is unlawful and — if you have suffered from this kind of mistreatment — you might want to file a complaint.
Employees who have suffered from FMLA-related retaliation can file a complaint with the Department of Labor(DOL), or they can file a complaint in court. Many injured employees choose to file a complaint through the DOL first, and in the event it doesn’t produce a successful result, they file a lawsuit in court.
Time limitations will apply to the filing of all FMLA claims — regardless of whether they’re filed in court or with the DOL. This time limitation is two years in most cases. As for the exact date that this time limitation begins to run, it may require an attorney’s help to determine the exact deadline relating to a particular case. For example, some employees will have a three-year time limitation when they can prove that their employer’s retaliatory actions against them were deliberate.
Did you try to take unpaid leave via the FMLA, but you suffered negative consequences from your employer? Learn more about your legal rights and options to determine if you have a viable claim for damages.