Personal Medical Leave

Unfortunately it is a reality of life that we may at some point be inflicted with a serious health condition or might suffer a serious injury forcing us to take time off of work. If you have suffered from a serious injury or have a serious health condition you may be eligible to receive leave from your work. Under both federal and state law there are situation that mandate an employer to grant leave.

Houston employment lawyers Robert J. Wiley, Kalandra N. Wheeler and Tamecia Glover represent Houston workers who need leave in order to covalence and recover or have been retaliated against because of their usage of such leave. We understand that you are not in this situation by choice and that the last thing you want to do is worry about your job. In such a case you need a team of attorneys that will fight for you.

Under both federal and state law, an employer may be required to grant employees leave. For example, under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), if you are a qualified employee that works for a covered employer you may be eligible to receive up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off in one calendar year.

So what exactly is would make an employee a qualified employee? Well, in order to be consider a qualified employee under the FMLA you must:
  • Worked for the employer for the past years;
  • During that year you must have worked at least 1,250 hours or more; and
  • Be employed by an employer that has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius of your particular worksite.
Furthermore, the FMLA specifically states that an employee who meets the above mentioned criteria and suffers from a serious health condition that makes them unable to perform the essential job functions of their jobs is entitled to FMLA leave. If you have decided to adopt a child or become a foster parent, you are still protected under the FMLA.

Additionally, FMLA leave does not need to be taken all at once. If your situation allows you to come back to work, but requires you to have periodic absences, you can get intermittent FMLA leave, which in essence allows you to take short intermittent periods of leave to attend doctor’s appointments, treatments, or related activities. It is important to note that you must give your employer reasonable notice of your need to get FMLA leave.

Also, you may be protected under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA”). Under the ADA if you suffer from a serious health condition or disability that substantially limits one or more major life activities you may be entitled to have a reasonable accommodation. Depending on your specific situation temporary leave from work may be considered a reasonable accommodation.

These laws were specifically crafted to protect workers. As such, lawmakers have put in provisions in these laws that retaliating against a worker because they have requested leave under the FMLA or requested a reasonable accommodation under the ADA is illegal. Examples of acts that would be considered illegal are:
  • Denial of a promotion;
  • Demotion;
  • Firing; and
  • Affecting employee benefits.
If any of these acts were directly related or caused because you took leave to convalesce, regardless of which law it falls under, it is illegal. Do not let your employer interfere with your rights. You have worked hard for your employer. As such, you must make sure that they are not taking advantage of your current situation to break the law.  We are here to help in whatever part of the process you may find yourself. Whether it is you need assistance requesting a reasonable accommodation or requesting leave under the FMLA, your employer is interfering with your leave, or if they have already retaliated against you for taken leave.

Take Action

If you are having any difficulty taking leave, returning to work, or experiencing retaliation, do not hesitate to contact our law firm. Depending on your situation you may have a very short deadline to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. The deadline may be from 180 days to 300 days. If you choose to contact us, you will generally meet with an attorney to discuss your matter. If we believe a violation of the law has occurred and if you decide to hire us, we will sign a representation agreement and enforce your rights.