Getting time off work can be a struggle, especially if you work in an hourly wage job or a service job with shift work. The struggle to get time off becomes even more complicated when you suffer an injury that requires more than just a day or two away from your job.
In Minnesota, as in the rest of the United States, federal law requires employers to grant certain categories of employees up to 12 workweeks of unpaid medical leave for specific circumstances. Some employers retaliate against employees over their medical leave under this federal law, known as the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA. Read on to learn more about FMLA and see if it applies in your case.
Family Medical Leave Act
Under FMLA, employees are entitled to take time off work for specific circumstances. These include the birth of a child, caring for a spouse or child with a serious health problem or when the employee suffers a serious health condition due to which he or she is unable to perform his or her job. FMLA allows the employee to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period. Employees must meet certain requirements in order to qualify for FMLA, including the length of employment and the number of hours worked. The employer must also meet the requirement of employing 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius of the worksite.
Employer retaliation over leave
If you and your employer meet the requirements for FMLA, your employer cannot legally retaliate against you for taking advantage of the benefit of this federal law. Some ways that employers may retaliate include termination as a result of taking FMLA leave, or reinstatement on the job in a lower position than that previously held. Federal law protects your position once you meet the requirements of the stipulations set forth in the FMLA.
If you believe your employer is retaliating against you or has retaliated against you because you took FMLA, you should consult an employment law attorney. A qualified attorney can help you assess your case and provide you information about how to best proceed.