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.

Learn more during a consultation. Call Beal Sutherland Berlin & Brown at (404) 476-5305 to request one.

What Is the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

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.

Why You Need an FMLA Attorney

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.

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  • "Can't thank Brian Sutherland enough for his outstanding representation of me. Brian was responsive, insightful, and clever in the communications drafted on my behalf. He offered spot-on advice, and we ..."
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  • "Rachel Berlin Benjamin somehow managed to take all the difficulty out of handling the most stressful experience of my life. Not only was she diligent, wildly intelligent, and thorough in handling the ..."
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  • "Rachel and her staff took the time to review my case and answered all my questions. The thing I liked best is they didn't rush me and ensured that everything was covered. I would definitely seek their guidance again if needed!
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  • "Rachel Berlin Benjamin consistently demonstrated integrity, empathy, and compassion, making me feel supported and empowered throughout the process. Her knowledge of labor laws, professionalism, and personal approach truly made a difference during a challen"
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  • "Rachel did great handling my employment claim. She comes highly recommended!"
    Former Client

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Choose Our Atlanta FMLA Attorneys

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.

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