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FMLA leave mistakes for employers to avoid

Employers in Florida and the rest of the nation should be aware of the proper protocol for Family and Medical Leave Act administration. Workers should also be cognizant as well so that they can recognize when their rights are being violated.

One of the mistakes an employer can make is failing to recognize an employee’s notice of the need for FMLA leave. An employer is duty-bound to adhere to FMLA regulations if FMLA leave is requested, or if the employer learns that the leave may qualify under FMLA. It is not necessary for employees to expressly state that they require FMLA leave.

This can be demonstrated in a July 2016 lawsuit in which a court rejected an employer’s request for a summary judgment because the factual determination of whether an employee provided sufficient notice of need for continuing FMLA leave was a decision for a jury. The employee in the case needed additional FMLA leave after his short-term disability expired. While he failed to communicate with his superiors locally when he temporarily relocated, he did update his contact information with the corporate office and notified the company’s benefits department that he was trying but was unable to comply with medical certification for more leave because his doctor was unavailable because of a medical emergency. The court concluded that these two details created a question of whether enough notice was provided for the ongoing need for FMLA leave.

Boca Raton, Florida, FMLA discrimination attorneys might assist individuals who have difficulty getting leave from their work to take care of family members or whose FMLA leave rights have been otherwise violated. An attorney may consider the facts of the case and if warranted file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor.

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