Medical leave & Diciplinary Actions

I had taken 7.5 requested days off since September 2003. I previously had informed my employer I would be needing time for Medical appointments with specialists for my children(opthamologists,ENT's). I was denied the day of a surgery off and given a verbal warning. We came to understanding that I would not ne in the dau of surgery or 10 days following due to my childs' recovery. My employer stated that if I continues to use "Excessive" time..I would recieve a written warnng with 2 days suspension w/out pay. I still have one more sugery for my youngest daughter. Can he legally take these diciplinary actions?

1 answer  |  asked Jan 28, 2004 8:11 PM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (1)

David M. Lira
Taking Time Off to Tend to SicK Children

Your situation might be covered by the Family Medical Leave Act. However, this law applies only to employers and locations where there are 75 employees within a certain radius. In addition, the employee seeking leave needs that have worked 1250 hours in the past year, and been with the employer for one year.

FMLA provides for 12 weeks of unpaid leave not only to let the employee take care of a serious medical condition that the employee may have, but also to take care of serious medical conditions that certain close relatives, including the employee's children, may have. FMLA leave need not be taken all at once. An employee can take part of a day for a medical appointment. Or, the employee can take a few days for a medical procedure that might entail recovery time. FMLA leave is unpaid, but an employer can require an employee to use paid leave, such as vacation and sick leave, as part of FMLA leave.

Disciplining or terminating an employee for taking FMLA leave is a violation of the law. You can sue under the law, or bring a complaint to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Employees are not required to use the magic words "Family Medical Leave" to be entitled to FMLA leave. Although it certainly helps if an employee raises the topic of FMLA leave, the employer also has a responsibility to inform employees of their rights under FMLA.

New York State does not have a law like FMLA. Some states do. Usually, the state laws give employees a few more rights.

posted by David M. Lira  |  Jan 29, 2004 09:03 AM [EST]

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