The key aspects of FMLA involve:
Not all employees are eligible to take leave under FMLA, and you must qualify under the law’s specific criteria:
Benefits under the new Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law took effect beginning in January 2021. Under the law, most employees, and even some independent contractors, are entitled to up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a family member who has a serious health condition or to bond with a new child. Eligible employees may also receive up to 20 weeks of paid leave to deal with their own serious medical condition. Leave benefits are also available for employees who are affected by a qualifying exigency arising out of a family member’s active duty or impending call to active duty in the Armed Forces. Benefits are paid by the Commonwealth, so employees must apply through the Department of Paid Leave to receive benefits. There is a maximum benefit period of 26 weeks. PFML coverage must run concurrent with leave taken under the federal; Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) (29 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.) and Massachusetts Parental Leave Act (M.G.L. c. 149, § 105D).
Paid Family Medical Leave is funded by taxes – paid by employees and employers. Employees should tell their employer that they intend to apply for leave. If your employer does not follow PFML law, of if you are treated differently by your employer for taking leave under the PFML, you have rights. If your job is not protected (i.e., you are fired, or demoted), or if you face retaliation or discrimination (i.e., your best accounts are taken away, or your employer otherwise treats you differently than your colleagues), you can bring a lawsuit within three years of the violation.
Perhaps most importantly, the law states that any negative change in the seniority, status, employment benefits, pay or other terms or conditions of employment of an employee which occurs any time during a leave taken by an employee, or during the 6-month period following an employee’s leave shall be presumed to be retaliation.
If you are an eligible employee with a qualifying reason for taking leave under FMLA or PFML, and give proper notice as required by law, you do have rights in the event of a violation. Whether you were denied leave, disciplined for using it, or fired while you were away, your options may include:
As potential remedies, you may be able to get your job back, retain insurance coverage, or other means of putting you in the same position as if you did not take leave. It may also be possible to seek monetary damages for back pay and other losses.
Home page for resources provided by the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor about FMLA.
Home page for resources provided by the Department of Family and Medical Leave.
Resource provided by the Department of Labor explains the rights afforded to certain workers by the Family and Medical Leave Act as well as which employees are entitled to these benefits.
Provides links to all the fact sheets relating to FMLA provided by the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division.
This is the complete language of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.
This is an online tool provided by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division which, by answering questions via links, helps to determine eligibility for FMLA.
Page provided by the Massachusetts government giving an overview of FMLA. Adds some additional detail on military-related situations.
Leave for a medical issue of a relative made up 18% of the reasons for taking FMLA leave.
For more information on FMLA eligibility and other leave laws, please contact us. Our lawyers have more than seven decades of combined experience in employment matters, and we are here to help. The attorneys at Rodman Employment Law have in-depth knowledge in the laws that provide you with certain rights if you need to take leave from work, and we have extensive experience in protecting them.
Our team can explain the complex eligibility rules and prerequisites under the Family and Medical Leave Act and state law, and we assist with completing necessary paperwork. Please call (617) 820-5250 or visit our consultation page to schedule a consultation.