In 1993, Congress adopted the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This federal law was enacted to provide certain employees with 12 workweeks of unpaid leave each year without the risk of being terminated. Public agencies, such as local, state, and federal employers, and local school employers must comply with the Act. Additionally, private employers who have 50 or more employees for at least 20 workweeks per year must also comply with the Act. This federal law is applicable in Texas FMLA claims based on discriminatory conduct.Generally, the FMLA can be used by eligible employees in the following situations:
- When an employee cannot work because of a serious medical issue,
- To care for an immediate family member who has a serious medical issue,
- For the birth or subsequent care of an employee’s child,
- After the placement of a foster or adopted child, and
- In certain situations related to an employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has been called to active duty.
Many employees are aware of the basic rules of the FMLA, but intermittent leave is a topic that is not widely understood. Intermittent leave can be taken in situations in which it is medically necessary to take leave in separate blocks of time or to reduce a work schedule for a single qualifying medical reason. However, intermittent leave is not guaranteed under the FMLA.
Examples of Intermittent Leave
There are many situations in which intermittent leave may be necessary. For example, intermittent leave may be taken in cases in which an employee needs to take several half-days to tend to a chronically ill child’s medical appointments. Another example would be when an employee is undergoing dialysis and must take certain days off for treatment and the accompanying fatigue.
Intermittent Leave: Employee and Employer Responsibilities
Under federal regulations, employees must provide their employer with notice of their need for intermittent leave “as soon as practicable.” In the same vein, employers must have written policies that outline their leave policies. Moreover, employers are not permitted to require employees to use their personal time off, vacation, or sick time before utilizing FMLA leave.
Although employees may be terminated while they are on FMLA leave, the reason for the employee’s termination cannot be based on the fact that they took FMLA leave. If an employee suspects that they were terminated because they took FMLA leave, they should consult with an attorney.
Have You Been Subjected to Discrimination Because You Took Leave Under the FMLA?
If you have faced discrimination because you took leave under the FMLA, or have been denied leave under the FMLA, you should contact the Dallas FMLA lawyers at Rob Wiley, P.C. The attorneys at Rob Wiley, P.C. have decades of experience litigating complex employment discrimination cases. We make every effort to make sure that our clients get the relief they deserve. Contact the law firm of Rob Wiley, P.C. at 214-528-6500 to schedule your free initial consultation today.
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How a Texas Employee Can Prove a Case of Employment Discrimination, Dallas Employment Lawyer Blog, May 2, 2018.