There are federal laws in place that protect the interests of workers who need time off from work for needs related to their families or medical care. The Family and Medical Leave Act allows employees to take time away from their jobs when necessary for serious family events, such as the birth of a child, or medical needs, such as caring for an immediate family member with cancer. Florida employees should be able to take FMLA leave without fear of recrimination from employers.
Employers have established procedures regarding how they can request this type of leave, but employers cannot prevent them from taking it or retaliate against them. The FMLA allows employees to have up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off from work without losing their job. While employees are away, their employers may have to rearrange schedules and find temp workers. Employers may not want to do this, and they may act aggressively or inappropriately toward those who take FMLA leave.
Pregnancy is only one reason why an employee may need time off from work. FMLA also applies to cancer treatments, recovery from certain types of surgery, caring for a loved one with a serious medical need, psychiatric treatment and more. Employees should not be fired, demoted, excluded or harassed for exercising their right to FMLA leave.
If a Florida employer does retaliate against an employee, it could be grounds for a civil claim. An employee does not have to suffer from unfair or illegal treatment in silence, but he or she may want to seek guidance from an experienced employment law attorney regarding the legal options available. Through a lawsuit, it is possible to hold employers accountable for their actions.