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Have you ever wondered what the FMLA in Pennsylvania is and whether it applies to you? If the answer is “yes,” then you’ve come to the right place. While most people understand that FMLA deals with taking off of work for medical reasons, there may be confusion regarding eligibility, applicable situations, and how much leave is available.
Other areas of concern to employers and employees include whether FMLA leave is paid, the amount of notice employers require, what constitutes an FMLA violation and steps employees can take to safeguard their FMLA rights. This article addresses all these issues to help you know your rights under the law.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that requires specific categories of employers to provide employees with unpaid leave in specified medical- and family-related instances, including pregnancy, adoption and foster care placement, family or personal illness, or caring for a severely injured service member.
The FMLA protects employees by allowing them to file a complaint, institute a civil action or seek other kinds of remedy against employers who violate their rights, depending on the facts of each case.
A person qualifies to take leave under the family leave act in PA if they:
Generally, covered employers are private employers with at least 50 employees for a minimum of 20 workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year. This includes joint employers and successors of covered employers. Public agencies like federal, state and local employers, and secondary and elementary schools — regardless of the number of employees — are also covered under the FMLA.
Eligible employees can take FMLA leave in the following instances:
The available leave days are as follows:
FMLA is unpaid. However, the law allows employees to elect, or employers to require employees, to use accrued paid vacation leave, family or paid sick leave for some or all of the FMLA leave period. If an employee wants to substitute paid leave, they must follow the employer’s standard leave rules. When paid leave is used for a reason covered by the FMLA, the leave FMLA protects the leave.
When the need to request FMLA leave is foreseeable and notice is practicable, employees are required to provide 30 days advance notice to the employer. The employee must notify the employer as soon as practicable, typically either the same or the next business day, if leave is foreseeable less than 30 days.
When the need for leave is unforeseeable, the employee must give notice to the employer as soon as practicable under the facts and circumstances of the particular case. Employees must comply with the employer’s standard and traditional notice and procedural conditions for requesting leave in the absence of unusual circumstances.
Employers violate the FMLA when they do any of the following:
Employees who believe their employers have violated their FMLA rights may file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the Department of Labor (DOL). The complaint must include relevant information, including the following:
Employees may also bring other claims against their employer, such as breach of contract and workplace discrimination, depending on the circumstances. Depending on the facts of the case, a court could issue an order prescribing various remedies to the employee. For example, besides reinstating the employee into the deserving position, the court may issue orders for various kinds of damages, including the following:
At Buzgon Davis Law Offices, we understand that the Family and Medical Leave Act can be tricky. So, we dedicate our effort to helping employers and employees know their rights and obligations to avoid making costly mistakes. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to partner with you in finding personalized solutions to your employment challenges in a friendly and efficient manner.
Contact us now to learn more about your FMLA rights and duties!
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