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By Louise Herman

When facing a medical emergency, you can rely on the Family and Medical Leave Act to help you take the necessary rest to get your health back in check. However, your employer may not like the idea of losing an employee for an extended period and thus may violate your rights. Understanding the signs of an FMLA rights violation is essential, as you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against your employer. If you feel as though your employer is infringing upon your right to take leave, a Providence, Rhode Island FMLA lawyer can help.

Your Employer Ignores Your FMLA Request

If you submit a request for FMLA leave in accordance with your company’s policy, but they say it does not comply with FMLA because the term is never used, this is a violation. You do not specifically have to say that your request is for FMLA, as your employer should be able to use the context of the request to grant leave based on the circumstances.

There is no “wrong” way to make a leave request.

You Are Disciplined for Taking Leave

If you take leave and you return to a hostile work environment, this is a clear sign that your employer is unhappy with your decision. If your employer verbally abuses or accosts you for taking a leave, this is a violation of your rights as an employee.

Similarly, many employers use FMLA leave as an excuse to prevent otherwise deserving employees from a promotion or raise. They may incorrectly label your leave as an unexcused absence.

You may also find that disciplinary action has been taken against you in the form of returning to a job under different circumstances. If your employer demotes you, lowers your pay, or removes benefits upon your return, this is a clear violation of your rights.

You Are Required to Work

When you take leave, your employer is not allowed to ask you to check your email, answer your phone, or perform any tasks.

One of the main reasons is that this is a leave, meaning you are taking time away from work. This means you are not expected to do work. If your employer asks you to work, you may be unable to complete the duties required of you while also taking care of a family member or enduring treatment for a medical issue.

What Do I Do If I Suspect My FMLA Rights Are Being Violated?

If you believe your FMLA rights are being violated, calling an employment lawyer as soon as possible is essential. The Department of Labor has determined that you must file a private lawsuit within two years of the last action you believe was a violation of the act.

Hiring a competent and seasoned FMLA attorney is essential to receiving the justice you deserve. Contact the Herman Law Group today to request a free consultation to discuss the details of your case.

About the Author
At Herman Law Group, our focus is on safeguarding the rights and careers of employees and businesses alike. With over 35 years of successful legal practice, Louise A. Herman brings an invaluable dual perspective from representing both employees and employers. This unique insight allows us to effectively achieve successful outcomes for our clients in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and nationwide.