The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) offers significant benefits to workers, allowing them to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave yearly to deal with a serious health condition of their own or a family member, for the birth or adoption of a child, and other important family reasons. One of the most important aspects of this valuable federal statute is protection from retaliation at work for exercising your rights under the law.
At Ochoa & Calderón, a prominent labor and employment law firm in Riverside, California, we recognize the importance of protecting your rights under the FMLA. If you have been fired or otherwise treated unfairly regarding the use or request for job-protected FMLA leave in your workplace, our California employment lawyers stand ready to fight for your rights and make sure you get the benefits you are entitled to, along with compensation for any additional harm you’ve suffered due to unlawful FMLA retaliation.
What Is FMLA Retaliation?
Retaliation under the FMLA occurs when an employer takes adverse action against an employee for exercising their FMLA rights. Examples of such actions include demotion, reduction in pay, job or shift reassignment, or termination. It’s crucial to understand that retaliation is not just illegal; it undermines the fundamental principles of fairness and equality in the workplace.
How do you know if you’ve been the victim of FMLA retaliation? Common indicators include:
- Sudden negative performance reviews after taking FMLA leave
- Denial of promotion or advancement opportunities
- Exclusion from training or professional development activities
- Unwarranted disciplinary actions
Your Rights and Protections Under the FMLA
As an employee in Riverside, California, you are entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period for:
- Serious personal or family health issues
- The birth and care of a newborn child
- The placement of a child for adoption or foster care
- Any qualifying exigency arising from the fact that a family member is a military service member on “covered active duty”
Key Points About FMLA Leave
- Eligibility: Employees are eligible if they have worked for their employer for at least 12 months and have clocked at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months.
- Job Protection: On return from FMLA leave, employees must be restored to their original job or an equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms.
- Health Insurance: During FMLA leave, an employer must maintain the employee’s health coverage under any “group health plan.”
What to Do if You Suspect FMLA Retaliation
Steps to take to protect your rights include the following:
- Document Everything: Keep detailed records of any actions that you believe may constitute retaliation.
- Report the Issue Internally: Use your employer’s internal complaint processes if available.
- Seek Legal Advice: Consult with an experienced employment law attorney to understand your rights and options.
How Ochoa & Calderón Can Help
At Ochoa & Calderón, we have a dedicated team with extensive experience in handling FMLA retaliation cases. Our approach includes:
- Thorough Evaluation: We meticulously assess your situation to determine if your rights under the FMLA have been violated.
- Personalized Strategy: Our legal strategies are tailored to your unique circumstances, ensuring the best possible outcome.
- Strong Advocacy: We fiercely advocate on your behalf, whether in negotiations or in court.
Contact Us for a Consultation
If you believe you have been a victim of FMLA retaliation at work, do not hesitate to contact the employment lawyers at Ochoa & Calderón for a free consultation to discuss your claims. Call 951-901-4444 in Riverside or 844-401-0750 throughout Southern California. Our expertise and dedication in labor and employment law positions us to effectively represent your interests and uphold your rights.