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Family Medical Leave Act

Our New York employment law attorneys help clients who wish to avail of the FMLA.

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that allows you to keep your job, while at the same time taking time off because of a serious medical condition. It could be that you are unwell, or it could be a member of your family. It is your right to be able to take time off work and seek medical attention or care for your loved one if they are sick and need your support.

If you want to take advantage of the FMLA and wish to understand whether your situation is covered by it, then you should contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, to arrange for a free consultation. We have helped many employees over the years understand their rights in relation to the Family Medical Leave Act. We firmly believe that any employee who needs time off work for serious medical reasons should be able to do so and not feel afraid that they will lose their livelihood. We will make sure that your rights are upheld and fight for your case to be heard.

Not everyone is automatically protected by the FMLA regardless of where they work. We can carefully assess your situation to determine your eligibility.

For instance, we will find out if the following apply to your situation:

  • What is the diagnosis of the medical condition which you or a loved one is suffering from?
  • Do you still work for your employer?
  • In the last 12 months, have you been working for the same employer at least half-time?
  • Does your employer employ more than 50 people where you work or within 75 miles of the place where you work?

The main idea of the FMLA is to strike a balance between the needs of the employer and any employee who has a genuinely serious medical condition or who needs to support someone else who does. If you qualify under the conditions of the FMLA you may be entitled to take a maximum of 12 weeks of leave in a year and then return to your job without any prejudice against you. The 12 weeks can be taken in a single period or in a series of multiple time periods off work which in total do not amount to more than 12 weeks in the year. For instance, if you need daily treatment which only takes an hour or two, then this would be covered by the FMLA assuming that you qualify. One negative aspect of the FMLA, however, is that it cannot be used for any sort of leave as a result of bereavement.

The main requirement imposed on the employer under the FMLA is to make sure that your job is available for you when you return to work. The job conditions and the pay and any other benefits must be either the same as when you took the leave or equivalent.

As you can see, the FMLA has quite exacting conditions and you may not qualify for consideration because you work for an employer who employs fewer than 50 employees or for some other reason. However, if you live and work in New York City, you may be covered by the New York Human Rights Law. This was set up to prevent discrimination at work, among other things. You may be entitled to take time off work even if your medical condition is not considered serious enough to be sufficient for the FMLA. Or you may work for an employer who employs more than 4 employees but less than the minimum for the FMLA, which is 50.

The New York City Human Rights Act also protects you from being victimized by your employer for taking time off work because of the FMLA. In other words, if you have used the FMLA to take leave, but your employer tries to pay you less or demotes you or discriminates against you in any way, this is not allowed under the New York City Human Rights Act.

Here at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, we have helped many people over the years who have faced hostility toward them because of their medical condition or that of people dear to them. We believe in the rights of employees to seek medical care as well as protect their jobs. Whether you are covered by the FMLA or the New York City Human Rights Act, or both, we can help you understand your situation and fight for your rights.

Call us or fill out our online contact form to talk to one of an employment law attorney with Cohen & Jaffe. We will respond to you immediately and aggressively pursue justice for you.