Articles Posted in FMLA

Time does not stop for anyone. There are time limits for filing claims against your employer. In fact, state and federal claims have different deadlines for different types of claims. When pursuing a claim against your employer, it is important to note the statute of limitations for the claim you intend to pursue. The biggest mistake I see employees make is waiting too long to pursue a claim. If the statute of limitations for your claim has expired, you will not be able to pursue your claim – even if you have a strong claim. There’s no way around it. Below are some of the most common employment-related claims and each claim’s respective statute of limitations.

Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Hostile Work Environment, and Retaliation.

Claims of discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, hostile work environment, or retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, must first be filed with the United State Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). A complaint with the EEOC must be filed within 300 days of the adverse employment action. An adverse action can range from a write-up to termination. If you do not file a charge of discrimination or retaliation with the EEOC within 300 days of the adverse action, you lose the right to pursue your claims in court.

Employment Lawyer Deontae Wherry

Dallas Employment Lawyer Deontae Wherry

In 1993, Congress passed the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) which provides employees the right take medical leave for (1) the birth of a child or to bond with a child, (2) the placement of a child for adoption or foster care, (3) a serious health condition that prevents the employee from his or her job, and (4) the care of the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition. In this article, I will focus on the definition of “spouse”, the expanded definition, and highlight FMLA’s key provisions.

“Spouse” was initially based upon the traditional definition of marriage being between a husband and a wife. Put simply, a spouse was only a person who was married to a person of the opposite sex. As society continued to change, this impacted many employees’ ability to care for their significant other or spouse. For example, employers were not required to return the employee to his/her position and could retaliate against them if the employee requested medical leave to care for a person of the same sex with a serious health condition because this was not a FMLA qualifying reason.

The death by suicide of Cheslie Kryst was a big wake up call. Mental illness is prevalent amongst Americans now more than ever. According to data collected by Mental Health America, Texas is the second most prevalent state for mental illness.  As a Texas employee, you should be aware of the resources available to you. 

Historically, many cultures have viewed mental illness as a form of religious punishment or demonic possession. Negative attitudes toward mental illness persisted into the 18th century in the United States, leading to stigmatization of mental illness, and confinement of mentally ill individuals. As a society, we still have negative views of and oftentimes downplay the severity mental disabilities. In fact, I just watched an episode of the Bachelor where one contestant mocked another because she suffered from ADHD. I was disgusted by such a display of ignorance, but at the same time, was proud that mental health was being talked about on a such a widely televised platform. 

I say that to say that although there are individuals who still have negative attitudes toward mental illness, it is no longer a taboo topic that we must be hush hush about. In 2021, approximately 19% of adults experienced a mental illness, which is equivalent to 47 million Americans. In addition, 7.67% of adults reported substance abuse disorders in 2021. Approximately 10.7 million or 4.34% of adults experienced severe suicidal thoughts in 2021. These are just the statistics for adults. Children also experienced high rates of depression, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts.

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