Fighting for the Compensation You Deserve
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles you to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year due to your own serious health condition or to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition.
Your Oklahoma FMLA lawyer will help you determine whether your employer has violated the law and help you fight for the compensation you deserve, including back pay and reinstatement, if appropriate. Call an Oklahoma employment law attorney today at (405) 896-9784 to schedule your consultation.
When can I file a lawsuit?
FMLA provides two choices for employees whose rights are violated. The employee may either file a complaint with the US Secretary of Labor or file a private lawsuit.
Complaints filed with the Dept. of Labor must be filed within a “reasonable” time after the violations. An employee may not file a private lawsuit in a claim where the Dept. of Labor has already sought to recover damages or enforce compliance, unless the Sect. of Labor moves to dismiss the DOJ lawsuit.
For private lawsuits, federal labor law established the FMLA statute of limitations. An employee denied FMLA benefits must file an FMLA lawsuit within two years of the violation, or within three years if the violation was willful.
The FMLA statute of limitations clock starts on the day of the “last event” constituting the violation. The last event means the employer’s denial of the employee’s protected FMLA leave request. 29 U.S.C. § 2617(c)(1)
What is an employer under the FMLA?
According to federal labor rules, an employer covered under the FMLA is any person engaged in commerce who employs 50 or more workers for 20 or more workweeks in a year. Public agencies, including schools, are covered regardless the number of employees.
Employers covered under FMLA incur obligations to notify employees. Each covered employer is required to post a notice of employee rights under FMLA and provide each employee with a copy of that notice. All notices must be in English and any other language spoken by at least 5% of a workforce. If there are 20 or more workers, those notices must be posted in a conspicuous place accessible to all employees, such as break rooms or cafeterias.
How do I calculate back pay owed?
FMLA entitles employees to recover salary, wages, benefits and other compensation that was lost due to unlawful denial of medical leave. Courts have established the law includes lost overtime wages.
In addition to lost wages, an employee may seek to recover any costs incurred due to the employer’s failure to allow medical leave. Employees may recover actual monetary costs up to the amount they otherwise earn in 12 weeks of employment.
If you believe your rights under FMLA have been violated contact an Oklahoma FMLA attorney today!
What if my employer retaliates against me?
Employers sometimes retailiate against workers who exercise their FMLA rights. Retaliation might involve a demotion, a change in job assignments or outright dismissal if the employee takes medical time off without the employer’s consent.
Courts may order employers to rehire the person or to restore them to their previous position. They might also award damages and attorney fees.
Employees who believe they have been retaliated against should contact an Oklahoma FMLA attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you understand your rights under the Family Medical Leave Act and fight for compensation if you’ve been wronged by your employer.
Can I claim damages?
The FMLA provides for additional “liquidated damages” equal to the amount of lost wages plus interest to which an employee is entitled. In short, that means double what you are owed.
If an employer can show they made an honest mistake in denying an employee FMLA benefits, the court can reduce any or all of the liquidated damages portion of a settlement.
The Family Medical Leave Act also allows courts to award attorneys fees to employees who win judgments against an employer. That means in some cases the company pays you what they should have paid you, they pay you that much again in damages and then they may also have to pay your attorneys fees.
If you are having trouble getting your employer to comply with their obligations under FMLA, contact our Oklahoma FMLA attorney today. We will help determine if you are entitled to benefits under FMLA and fight for those benefits on your behalf.
Do I have to show financial harm?
FMLA entitles qualified employees certain benefits. If they are denied those benefits, the law presumes they were harmed. There is no need for additional showing of financial harm.
Employees who successfully file FMLA claims or lawsuits must only show that they were entitled to time off, that they provided their employer proper notice when requesting time off. They do not have to prove any additional financial harm occurred as a result of being denied leave under FMLA.
Employees may be able to recover attorney fees and costs from their employers if they successfully challenge an employer’s denial of leave under FMLA.
Free Consultation: Oklahoma Family Medical Leave Act Attorney
Employees who are denied time off under FMLA, or who are fired or demoted for requesting time off, should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. The law is complicated and these cases can be difficult to prove. An experienced employment lawyer can help you understand your rights and what legal options you have available to pursue in court.
. If you have any questions about whether or not you qualify for Family Medical Leave Act leave and whether or not your employer has violated that law by declining your ability to take off, take time off work, or any other Oklahoma employee rights topics, contact me the Oklahoma FMLA violations attorney at (405) 896-9784 or contact me using the consult button on this Web page.