New Jersey FMLA Lawyers
Preserving your right to job protection
When you have a health or family crisis, the last thing you need to worry about is losing your job. In times when you need to take an extended break from work for a serious medical condition or to care for a sick family member, the law provides certain protections under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). But not every employer is willing to abide by the law. Sometimes, an unscrupulous company may try to take advantage of a good, hard-working person like you.
The New Jersey employment law firm of Aiello, Harris, Abate, Law Group PC is dedicated to advocating for employees’ rights. We ensure your job stays secure while you take a FMLA-approved absence from work. If your employer refuses to abide by these federal standards, and by New Jersey’s State level statute the New Jersey Family Leave Act contact our legal team today for assistance.
What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act entitles eligible employees working for covered employers to take a period of unpaid leave from work, with a guarantee that the employee will be able to come back to work after that period.
Here are the basics:
- You can have up to 12 weeks unpaid, job-protected leave from work
- You can take those 12 weeks during any 12-month period
- You can return to your job position, or an equivalent job position, after your period of leave
If you are caring for a serviceman or woman, you may be able to take 26 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12 month period. In some situations, you might be able to use your 12 or 26 weeks of absence non-consecutively.
Under what circumstances would I take advantage of the FMLA?
Leave entitlement applies in some select situations. According to federal law, there are four circumstances which fall under the FMLA:
- The birth or recent adoption of a child
- To care for your serious medical condition
- To care for an immediate family member’s serious medical condition
- For any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a spouse, son, daughter or parent is a military member on covered active duty or called to covered active duty status
According to the federal law, immediate family members are parents, spouses and children.
Examples of situations which may entitle you to a leave of absence include a cancer diagnosis that requires chemotherapy. Or perhaps you were in a car accident, left with serious injuries. Alternatively, your close family member has gotten sick. Any of these circumstances may fall under FMLA.
What you need to know about employers covered by FMLA
The FMLA does not apply to every company. If you are working for a very small, private business or individual, you probably are not covered.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage & Hour Division, a covered employer is a:
- Private-sector employer, with 50 or more employees in 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year, including a joint employer or successor in interest to a covered employer;
- Public agency, including a local, state, or Federal government agency, regardless of the number of employees it employs; or
- Public or private elementary or secondary school, regardless of the number of employees it employs.
While you are still working, ask your Human Resources representative about their FMLA policies and adherence. Covered employers should have posted a notice about your rights and responsibilities under the Act.
What you need to know about covered employees
Even if their employer is covered under FMLA, not every employee is entitled to unpaid leave.
You are a covered employee if:
- You work for a covered employer;
- You have worked for your employer for at least 12 months;
- You have at least 1,250 hours of service for the employer during the 12 month period immediately preceding the leave; and
- You work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles.
* Special hours of service eligibility requirements apply to airline flight crew employees.
Our labor lawyers in NJ at Aiello, Harris, Abate, Law Group PC can evaluate your situation and determine whether you are eligible for remedies under the FMLA.
The Family and Medical Leave Act requirements
To guarantee you’ll be able to return to your job, you have to follow some clear guidelines. To ensure your job protection, make sure you follow all the appropriate steps:
- Notice – give your employer ample notice of your leave, generally 30 days. This is easy in cases of the birth of a new child. Special consideration may be given in immediate health crises.
- Certification – if you are taking leave to care for yourself or a family member, give your employer documentation of your condition.
Always take special care to follow all appropriate procedures to cover all your bases.
Contact our New Jersey FMLA lawyers
The New Jersey law firm of Aiello, Harris, Abate, Law Group PC maintains offices all over the state. We assist clients in upholding their workplace rights. Our attorneys work diligently to ensure the best possible outcome for your case. Call us today at (908) 561-5577 to arrange a no-cost consultation or contact us online.