FMLA Leave Issues
Our attorneys at Livingston, Adler, Pulda, Meiklejohn & Kelly, PC can help you identify if you qualify for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. This should be a straightforward determination, but often employees face challenges from employers in obtaining their legally protected leave. We provide the experienced guidance when you need to take time off for health-related matters.
Are Employees Entitled To Time Off From Work For Medical Reasons?
It depends. If the reason is due to a work-related physical injury or illness, then Connecticut’s law regarding “Worker’s Compensation” likely does provide for time off from work.
On the other hand, the Connecticut and the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act laws (FMLA) require that employers with at least 50 employees provide eligible employees with time off from work, 12 or even 16 weeks, in order to care for themselves, a child, parent, or spouse in the event of a “serious medical condition” (including pregnancy).
Eligibility For FMLA Leave
FMLA leave can be taken all at once – up to the maximum number weeks, or sometimes on an “as-needed” basis (also known as “intermittent” leave). But whether an employee is eligible for FMLA leave also depends on how long s/he has worked for the employer and upon the nature of the medical condition. Employees who take leave under the FMLA may have to follow the employer’s rules about giving advance notice and/or about providing certification from a treating doctor.
The employer is required to continue the employee’s health, life, disability, pension and other benefits during the leave, at the same cost as if the employee was still working. Once the employee’s leave ends (at the end of the 12 or 16 weeks), s/he is entitled to be returned to his/her original position or, if that position is no longer available, to a similar position with similar pay and benefits.
Is My Employer Required To Pay Me During My Leave?
Not under the FMLA. However, under Connecticut’s Paid Sick Leave Act, employers with at least 50 employees must provide paid sick leave – up to 40 hours per calendar year – to “service workers.” Under this law, accrued sick leave can be used for the worker’s own illness or injury (including to obtain medical treatment or care), as well as for the illness or injury of a child or spouse (including medical care or treatment).
“Service workers” include, but are not limited to – restaurant workers, nurses and health service workers, janitors, security guards, bank tellers, child care workers, retail salespersons, cashiers, hairdressers, bus and taxi drivers, receptionists, secretaries, and hotel and counter clerks.
Beginning January 2, 2022, other employees will become eligible for paid leave under the new Connecticut Paid Family and Medical Leave Act.
No Retaliation For Exercising Rights
Employers cannot retaliate against employees who exercise rights, including the right to take time off of work, under the worker’s compensation law, FMLA laws or Connecticut’s Paid Sick Leave law.
Contact Us For A Free Initial Telephone Consultation
If you have more questions about your FMLA leave or related issues at work, feel free to call our Hartford office at 860-454-9608 or use our convenient online contact form to set up a free initial phone consultation.