The Family Medical Leave Act — or FMLA — protects the rights of workers with serious health conditions or workers who have family members with serious health conditions. In Virginia, FMLA leave is the only type of protected leave outside of military deployment or the rare "leave as an accommodation" under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Just because you are out on sick leave or short term disability leave does not mean your employer will not fire you. Only in scenarios in which you have certified FMLA leave will you have the ability to advance a claim should you be terminated. If you and your employer qualify under the FMLA, you may receive up to twelve weeks of leave in the calendar year. This leave may be taken at one time or intermittently. The FMLA protects you from retaliation even after you have returned from work. If you ever need to take a leave of absence at work, you must try to obtain certified FMLA leave to ensure that your job is protected.
There are no prior administrative steps to bringing a federal lawsuit pursuant to the FMLA but the FMLA has strict timelines. Contact Strelka Employment Law to schedule a consultation.