While most of us are dedicated to our jobs, family generally comes first. This can make for a difficult situation when an employee needs to take extensive time away from work to assist a family member who is sick or injured.
Federal law provides a solution for this predicament through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Under this law, workers have the right to take leave from work for family-related emergencies without fear of reprisal. If you were fired for exercising this right, a seasoned wrongful termination attorney at Feldman Legal Group could help you pursue a lawsuit for wrongful termination for FMLA leave in Tampa.
How Does FMLA Work?
The FMLA is a federal law that applies to workers across the country. This law protects workers who take time off to address family medical emergencies. These emergencies could involve close loved ones like parents or children, although this type of leave is also available when workers are ill or injured.
Thanks to FMLA, it is possible to take up to 12 weeks off from work. This leave is unpaid unless the employer chooses to compensate the employee voluntarily. There are many circumstances where FMLA leave might be useful. This could include:
- Birth of a child or grandchild
- Caring for an aging parent
- Recovering from a major injury or surgery
There is a limited exception that offers more leave time for certain workers. If an employee is the spouse of an active duty military member, they could get additional time off.
When an employer fires a worker in Tampa due to their FMLA leave of absence, it is considered retaliation. This is important, as retaliation provides workers with a viable case for financial compensation. Workers facing retaliation can sue their employer, and a successful claim will result in monetary damages for lost wages.
Whether or not a firing is a violation of the FMLA is a legal question. It is not a good idea for workers to assume their firing was legal. Instead, it is important to seek guidance from a knowledgeable legal professional on these issues. A qualified attorney like Mitchell Feldman could review the facts and help an employee understand if their rights have been violated.
Can My Employer Fire Me During My FLMA Leave?
It is critical to understand that there are times when FMLA will not prevent a Tampa worker from being terminated from their job while on family leave. However, this termination cannot be related to the leave of absence under FMLA.
For example, an employer planning on firing someone before their FMLA leave could still move forward with that termination. The problem is that employers sometimes use these excuses to fire someone based on their taking leave from their job.
These legal issues are complicated, but it is never a good idea to assume the termination of employment was appropriate. The best course of action is to let a well-practiced attorney review the circumstances and determine if legal action is worth pursuing.
Call a Tampa Attorney to Discuss Wrongful Termination for FMLA Leave
When you think you were wrongfully fired from your job due to your FMLA leave, you could have a case for compensation against your employer. A lawyer from our firm could evaluate your circumstances and help you plot a path forward. Call Feldman Legal Group today to discuss wrongful termination for FMLA leave in Tampa.