Los Angeles Medical Leave Lawyer
A number of laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, protect workers who need medical leave in order to do their jobs. But these laws often only apply in extreme cases. Legally, a “disability” is a condition which significantly impacts everyday activities for long periods of time. Occasionally, workers have short-term medical needs. They must attend to these needs in order to be more productive at work. The 1993 Family Medical Leave Act applies to situations like these.
The insightful Los Angeles medical leave lawyers at the Obagi Law Group always serve as strong advocates for you and always see both sides of the story. Therefore, we are usually able to anticipate employer defenses and resolve these matters out of court. These resolutions typically include money for compensatory losses as well as significant liquidated damages.
Employee FMLA Rights
The ADA only applies to workers with disabilities. But almost all workers are entitled to FMLA protection. Employees who have at least twelve months of service and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the preceding twelve months (about twenty-five hours a week) are entitled to twelve weeks of unpaid leave in the following situations:
- Caring for any injured family member who is in the military,
- Birthing/bonding time with a newly born or adopted child (in California, domestic partners also have this right),
- Caring for a seriously ill or injured immediate family member, usually a spouse or minor child,
- Recovering from their own serious injury or illness, and
- Attending to emergencies, such as child care, related to a family member’s military deployment.
Frequently, these workers need time to find blocks. Maternity/paternity leave is a good example. Much more often, however, these individuals need intermittent FMLA leave. Injury/illness recovery is a good example. Many people have good days and bad days on the road to recovery. Intermittent FMLA leave is available, but employers dislike it intensely. This dislike often leads to disputes, as outlined below.
FMLA leave is usually twelve weeks of unpaid leave during any twelve-month period. Legally, employers must give workers their old jobs back when they return, or a substantially similar position which has the same pay, benefits, seniority, and so on.
Employer FMLA Rights
In a nutshell, employers are usually entitled to documentation of the need for absence and reasonable notice before the employee takes leave.
The documentation almost always involves a doctor’s note which must state the nature of the illness or injury, how the condition affects the worker’s performance, including the effects of any medication, and the estimated recovery period. Employers also have the right to ask for supplemental documentation or multiple medical opinions. Employers bear the cost for these things.
Legally, workers must give 30 days’ notice if the need for leave is “foreseeable.” This word is always quite subjective. Additionally, in some situations, such as child care, employees must accept block FMLA leave.
In some cases, employers also have the right to force employees to burn comp time or PTO (Paid Time Off) rather than grant unpaid leave. The law in this area is rather uncertain.
Work With a Thorough Los Angeles County Employment Attorney
The law guarantees equal opportunity for everyone. For a confidential consultation with an experienced Los Angeles medical leave lawyer, contact the Obagi Law Group. P.C. After-hours and virtual visits are available.