FMLA Lawyer Cleveland, Ohio

Explaining why you may need advice and representation from a Cleveland-based FMLA attorney first requires discussing what the law requires of employers and employees.

What Is the FMLA and What Does It Do?

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires all businesses that employ at least 50 people within a 75-mile radius to grant their workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year to deal with a serious medical condition, the birth of a child or an adoption. Having legal help from an FMLA attorney in Cleveland, Ohio can make all the difference as you navigate your claim. If you have a FMLA problem in Cleveland, Ohio, contact a FMLA attorney.

The rules and regulations surrounding FMLA are pretty straightforward. After an employee works for the equivalent of 12 months or 1,250 hours, that person’s employer must grant FMLA leave for the following purposes:

  • The birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth
  • The placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement
  • To care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition
  • A serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job
  • Any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty.

Eligible employees can extend their FMLA leave to 26 weeks during a 12-month period if they request the unpaid time off to care for a family member, who suffered a combat injury while serving on active duty in the military.

Employers cannot fire or take other adverse employment actions against an employee who asks for or goes out on FMLA leave. The company, agency or school also must allow a person to return to their same job at the same pay, seniority. and benefits prior to FMLA leave.

A worker who needs to take FMLA leave to deal with a serious medical condition or one of the situations listed above should inform his or her employer of the situation as soon as doing so is safe and feasible.

An employee should also be prepared to substantiate the need for FMLA leave by providing doctor’s notes, adoption papers or other relevant proof that leave is needed. Then, after taking the unpaid time off, the employee must either return to work on the scheduled date or stay in communication with his or her employer to discuss a return to work date.  Know that your job is only technically protected for the 12 weeks that you are on FMLA.

Employees can take FMLA leave all at once, in blocks of weeks or days and even a day or hours at a time.  Employers can only refuse FMLA requests if they can prove that an employee has no eligibility for leave.

What Happens When Employers Fail to Comply With the FMLA?

As experienced FMLA lawyers in Cleveland, Ohio, we know that employees often encounter serious problems when try to exercise their rights under the FMLA. Perhaps the biggest problem involves wrongful termination.  There are two types of claims available to employees under the FMLA- interference and retaliation/discrimination.  These occur when an employer interferes with the right to an employee’s FMLA leave, either by not offering it, terminating an employee while on leave or failing to return the employee to their same position, or an equivalent position, upon the return from leave.

Many of the FMLA cases we handle are brought by workers who got fired when they requested or returned from FMLA leave. This could be a form of illegal and impermissible retaliation against an employee who takes an action that is protected by the FMLA. Other types of retaliation that can provide grounds for FMLA lawsuits are demotions, reassignments and cuts in pay and benefits.

What Can a Cleveland FMLA Attorney Do for You?

Employees who lose their jobs or suffer retaliation for using or requesting FMLA are can seek monetary damages for lost and back pay, compensatory damages and court orders for their employers to change policies and procedures related to FMLA compliance.

Working with an experienced employee rights lawyer gives you the ability to work with a professional to obtain business records, managers’ emails and meeting notes and testimony that supports your case. The employer will surely have legal representation, so you owe it to yourself to level the playing field.

The FMLA attorneys in the Cleveland office of The Friedmann Firm offer confidential consultations on all employment law cases. Schedule an appointment online or call us at 440.703.8550 to let us know how we can help you.