New Jersey FMLA Attorneys
How Safe is Your Job?
Upon first review, the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, certainly seems like a pretty straightforward and beneficial law: it provides up to twelve weeks of “job protected” leave per year for employees to take time off to care for themselves or an immediate family members who have a “serious health condition.” During this 12-week period of job-protected leave, an employer is legally required to hold your job open for you and then return you to it when you are ready to come back to work.
But upon closer look, the FMLA, while providing job protection for employees that would not otherwise exist, proves to be a much more complicated statute than it a first might seem, and our attorneys have found that employers often resent employees who exercise their rights under the FMLA (and the related New Jersey Family Leave Act) and may attempt to retaliate against them for taking leave, even though they are covered by the provisions of the law.
Who is Protected Under the FMLA?
Because the law only covers employees who work for large companies –ones that have at least 50 employees at their work site or within a 75 mile radius of where they work – it excludes from protection the many millions of employees in this country who work for smaller companies. In addition, because the law covers only employees who work full-time (or nearly full-time), it does not cover the millions more American workers who are forced to cobble together a living by working multiple part-time jobs. As a result, only a minority of the American workforce is even covered by the law.
Moreover, employers may attempt to argue that an employee who seeks protection under the FMLA really doesn’t have a “serious health condition” and therefore isn’t entitled to leave. And while the law entitles an employee who takes FMLA leave to reinstatement, an employer may attempt to deny reinstatement because it claims there was a “layoff” during the leave, or because it “discovered” that the employee had engaged in some previously undiscovered wrongdoing.
Schall and Barasch: Attorneys With Experience Handling FMLA Cases
As FMLA attorneys in New Jersey, we have also found that there are some employers who resent an employee who chooses to invoke the protections of the FMLA to take time off from work. Once that employee has returned to work, the employer will look for reasons (or make up reasons) to use to terminate the employee or make that employee’s life so miserable that he or she if forced to quit. Many of the FMLA cases we have handled arise under the anti-retaliation provisions of the FMLA, which make it unlawful for an employer to engage in such conduct.
Attorneys Richard Schall and Patricia Barasch have handled numerous, and often extremely complex, FMLA cases during their more-than-45 years combined experience representing employees. We enjoy the challenge of tackling the most complex legal issues under the FMLA – and there are plenty of them — and taking on the biggest corporations in New Jersey.
If you believe your FMLA rights have been violated, please contact our firm by completing the on-line Questionnaire.
* In every year since 2014, the law firm of Schall & Barasch has been included in the Tier 1 list of best law firms in New Jersey practicing in the field of employment law on behalf of individuals. This list is compiled by U.S. News & World Report. A description of the selection methodology can be found at www.bestlawfirms.usnews.com/methodology.aspx.
** The methodology for the Avvo ratings of Richard Schall and Patricia Barasch can be found at www.avvo.com/support/avvo_rating.
*** In every year since 2009, Richard Schall has been chosen to be included on the list of Best Lawyers in New Jersey practicing in the field of labor and employment law. The Best Lawyers list is issued by Best Lawyers International. A description of the selection methodology can be found at www.bestlawyers.com/about/MethodologyBasic.aspx.
**** In every year since 2005, both Patricia Barasch and Richard Schall have been chosen to be included on the list of Super Lawyers in New Jersey practicing in the field of employment law on behalf of plaintiffs. The Super Lawyers list is issued by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at www.superlawyers.com/about/selection_process.html.
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