Family & Medical Leave

Have you suffered from a serious injury or have undergone a medical procedure that requires you to take time off of work? Have you welcomed a newborn child to your life and need time off to care for it? Has your spouse fallen ill and you have to stay home to care for your partner? If so, you might be eligible to get time off under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).

Houston employment lawyers Kalandra Wheeler and Robert J. Wiley represent Houston workers who need time off work. We understand that more likely than not you are in a time in your life where having to worry about your job may be too much to handle. In such a case you need a team of attorneys that will fight for you.

It is a fact of life that as some point in your life you will either need time to care for yourself or you will need time to nurture back to health a loved one. Under the FMLA you may be eligible to get time off of your work.

Under the 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. These 12 weeks may be taken in one long absence. The twelve (12) weeks of time may also be taken in smaller intervals of time off, which would in essence help you keep doctors’ appointment, treatments, and other related requirements. This is often referred to intermittent FMLA leave.

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, FMLA leave is only allowed for certain situation. The FMLA protects workers who need time off to:
  • Care for a newborn child;
  • Care for themselves when stricken with a  serious medical condition;
  • Care for a newly adopted child;
  • Care for a close family member like a spouse, parent or child; and
  • Fulfill military duties such as deployment or training.
Additionally, it is important to note that in order to enjoy of the guarantees of the FMLA an employer must be given reasonable notice that you require leave. The reasonableness of the notice will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Although it is not something guaranteed, the law does provide that if possible once an employee returns from leave they man have certain rights. Once that employee has come back from FMLA leave they may be eligible to:
  • Receive the same pay that they were receiving before they left on leave;
  • Receive the same benefits that they were receiving before the  employee took leave;
  • Have the same job duties, although minor alterations are allowed;
  • To be reinstated in a similar or equivalent shift or schedule; and
  • Be reinstated in the same worksite.
The FMLA was specifically designed to help workers when they are most in need of help. Do not let your employer take those rights. Do not let your employer interfere with your FMLA leave. 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 FMLA leave, 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. Generally, you will 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.
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