Rights of employees under FMLA

Employees in Texas should be aware of their rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The underpinning of FMLA is that it is supposed to help preserve family stability, which in turns makes for a more stable and productive employment situation.

Employees are eligible for FMLA leave if they work at a company that has a minimum of 50 employees in a 75-mile radius and if they have been at the job full time for one year. FMLA leave can be taken for the adoption or birth of a child, for an employee's own serious medical issues or for the serious medical issues of a close family member. It may be a physical or mental issue. FMLA leave lasts for up to 12 weeks, but it does not have to be consecutive, and in some cases, a person's physician may have them take intermittent leave.

Employers are required to provide employees with information about FMLA leave once they know that a person has a serious medical condition. Employers cannot punish or fire people for taking the FMLA leave to which they are entitled.

Unfortunately, many employees are unaware of their FMLA rights. Their employers may withhold information from them about those rights. They may discipline or fire a person for taking FMLA leave and claim that it was a performance issue. People who are wondering about their FMLA rights or who believe their FMLA rights were violated may want to talk to an attorney about the situation, employment law, how to document incidents and how to approach the issue in the workplace. Often, the first step for an employee is use workplace channels to address the issue. If the workplace does not respond in a satisfactory manner or retaliates against the employee, an attorney might assist the employee in taking legal steps.

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