Atlanta FMLA Attorneys
Knowledgeable Attorneys Protecting the Rights of Atlanta Employees
At Beal Sutherland Berlin & Brown, we understand the importance of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for employees in Atlanta. As experienced employment law attorneys, we assist our clients in navigating complex FMLA regulations and bring lawsuits for FMLA violations.
If you think your employer has violated the FMLA, reach out to us for help. We can provide the experienced and personalized support you need to achieve the best possible outcome.
The FMLA is a federal law that grants eligible employees the right to take unpaid leave for specific family and medical reasons. FMLA protects employees' jobs and health benefits during their leave and allows them to regain their positions or equivalent positions upon their return. FMLA also requires employers to maintain their employee group health insurance benefits during that time.
Under the FMLA, eligible employees are allowed up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain medical and family reasons, such as:
- The birth or adoption of a child;
- Caring for an ill family member; or
- Caring for a serious personal illness
Employees may also be able to take intermittent leave, so leave doesn’t have to be used as 12 consecutive weeks.
Additionally, FMLA only applies to employers with at least 50 employees, and employees must have worked for their current employer for at least 12 months before taking leave under the act. Employees must also have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period prior to taking leave.
Employers may not interfere with an employee's rights under the FMLA, and employees must follow certain procedures in order to take leave. Employers are also required to post a notice of their rights under the FMLA in an area accessible to all employees.
The Impact of FMLA Violations in the Workplace
Violations of FMLA rights can significantly impact the affected employee and the work environment as a whole. For the individual employee, such violation can result in unjust job loss, financial stress due to loss of income, and emotional distress stemming from a sense of vulnerability and exploitation.
On a larger scale, such violations can contribute to a toxic work culture characterized by fear and mistrust. This leads to decreased employee morale and productivity, can risk the company's reputation, and, in instances of legal action, can result in costly litigation and penalties.
Here are common FMLA violations you may encounter:
- Denying your valid request for FMLA leave
- Retaliating against you for requesting or taking FMLA leave
- Failing to maintain your health benefits while you're on FMLA leave
- Interfering with your right to return to your position, or an equivalent one, after your FMLA leave
- Failing to provide the necessary FMLA notices about your rights
- Requiring you to work or be on-call during your FMLA leave
Can You Sue Your Employer for an FMLA Violation?
Yes, the law permits you to sue your employer for an FMLA violation. If you believe your employer has violated this law, consulting with an experienced FMLA attorney, like ours at Beal Sutherland Berlin & Brown, is the first step. They will guide you through the complex legal process, which typically begins with filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Alternatively, you also have the option to file a private lawsuit in the appropriate state or federal court.
The process generally involves the following steps:
- Collect all relevant documentation (e.g., employment records, medical records)
- File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
- If the DOL is unable to resolve the complaint, you may then file a lawsuit in federal court
- Once the lawsuit is filed, both parties will engage in discovery - a process where each side investigates the facts of the case
- If a resolution is not reached, the case may go to trial
By filing a lawsuit, you may be able to seek compensation for a variety of damages, such as:
- Job reinstatement
- Back pay for lost wages
- Compensation for loss of benefits
- Out-of-pocket medical expenses
- Attorney's fees and court costs
- In some cases, additional damages for willful violations of the FMLA
Remember, navigating FMLA laws can be complex. Having knowledgeable legal representation can make a difference in protecting your rights.
Proving Your FMLA Rights Were Violated
A systematic approach is necessary to prove that your FMLA rights were violated. Firstly, you must establish your eligibility for FMLA leave. This requires demonstrating that you have worked for your employer for at least 12 months and accumulated at least 1,250 hours of service in the previous year and that your employer has 50 or more employees.
Secondly, evidence of interference or retaliation by your employer is crucial. Interference may manifest as your employer refusing or discouraging you from taking FMLA leave or not reinstating you to your previous or equivalent position upon your return. Retaliation examples include disciplinary actions, demotion, or even termination because of you exercising your FMLA rights.
Lastly, you must prove that you suffered harm due to these actions. This could be financial harm, such as loss of income or benefits, or non-economic harm, such as emotional distress. Documentation such as pay stubs, employment records, correspondence with your employer, and medical records can be instrumental in substantiating your claim.
A skilled attorney can guide you through the process and help gather the necessary evidence to strengthen your case.
An FMLA attorney can be a valuable asset when it comes to ensuring that your rights as an employee are respected and protected.
Your employer may not always provide you with the leave benefits they are obligated to or deny you access to certain types of medical leave; in these cases, an experienced attorney can help you make sure that your needs are met.
An FMLA attorney can provide valuable guidance and representation in various situations, including:
- Filing FMLA claims
- Interpreting FMLA eligibility and entitlement
- Negotiating reasonable accommodations
- Ensuring compliance with FMLA regulations
- Resolving FMLA disputes and claims
Additionally, if you suffer any type of discrimination or harassment related to taking leave, an attorney can help you fight back and hold your employer accountable for their actions. Ultimately, having a knowledgeable FMLA attorney in Atlanta on your side is a great way to ensure that you are treated fairly when it comes to medical leave policies.
"Brian Sutherland is very professional and a great listener. I would highly recommend working with him.Karolina G.
"When I told her about the recent experience I had which ultimately led me to seek legal counsel, she displayed so much empathy and compassion for what I had been through. I got the distinct impression that Milinda got into the practice of law not for money"Anne W.
"Brian was very caring and gave me good advice. I will definitely recommend him and his team."Mar
"Through several years of discovery and depositions Drew and his team never wavered in their support of my case. Drew was there when I needed him and he always answered my call. I am pleased that the case was resolved in my favor. I highly recommend this te"Joseph E.
"Brian is a highly professional and compassionate attorney. His thorough analysis of my case was presented with clarity, and he offered helpful suggestions for my next steps."Mengmeng X.
At Beal Sutherland Berlin & Brown, our team of experienced attorneys is committed to ensuring that employees are aware of their rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), including when they may be eligible for leave. We can help employees navigate the details of FMLA law and assist with resolving disputes involving the FMLA with employers.
Learn how our FMLA attorneys in Atlanta can help you by sending us a message online.