FIRED FOR REQUESTING TOO MUCH FAMILY LEAVE?

Get An Experienced Los Angeles FMLA Attorney

Los Angeles Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Lawyer

Every worker in every industry in the state has several federal and state-level legal protections from mistreatment and exploitation by their employers. Over the past several decades, many new laws have been enacted to ensure workers are protected when life presents unexpected challenges that interfere with their ability to work.

The Shirazi Law Firm, PC, routinely represents Los Angeles-area clients in all manner of employment law cases, including those generated by unfairly denied medical leave or wrongful termination in response to legitimate requests to use medical leave. If you recently requested time off from work to address a serious medical issue of any kind and your employer fired you or engaged in any other adverse actions against you, you need to consult a Los Angeles FMLA attorney as soon as possible.

UNDERSTANDING FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE ACT RIGHTS IN CALIFORNIA

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a piece of federal legislation that exists to ensure any worker who has a serious medical condition or a family member with a medical emergency can take unpaid leave to address these matters without fear of losing their job. The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) functions similarly at the state level, providing more extensive protection for workers dealing with severe medical issues.

Every employer in Los Angeles must adhere to FMLA/CFRA in all cases. As long as the employee provides as much notice as possible once they discover their medical emergency, the employer is required to maintain their position, so their job is waiting for them when they are able to return to work. The employer may need to hire a temporary replacement while the employee is on leave, but they are expected to have a job waiting for them once their leave concludes.

Unfortunately, it is still a very common occurrence where employers terminate employees because they do not want to provide any more family and baby bonding leave. Family leave under FMLA/CFRA provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain employees. This leave can be taken all at once or spread out. However, all employees have significantly more protection under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act. The need for family leave is a request for an accommodation and employers are required to provide reasonable accommodation.

WRONGFULLY TERMINATED FOR TAKING TOO MUCH MEDICAL LEAVE

Unfortunately, it is still a very common occurrence where employers terminate employees because they do not want to provide any more medical or disability leave.  Medical leave under FMLA/CFRA provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain employees.  This leave can be taken all at once or spread out.

But, all employees have significantly more protection under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.  The need for medical leave is a request for an accommodation and employer’s are required to provide reasonable accommodation.  Depending on the size of the company, the employee’s position, and other factors, medical leaves of 1-2 years have been considered reasonable.  

Employers who terminate employees for needing additional medical leave, even if it’s for over a year total, are in violation of the law.  Some employers summarily terminate an employee because they have exhausted 12 weeks of FMLA/CFRA.  That is illegal.  

It is also illegal when employers have maximum medical leave policies.  An employer cannot simply fire an employee because it has a “rule” (for example) that 6 months of medical leave is the maximum allowed. 

If you or someone you know has been fired or mistreated because of their disability or fired while on disability leave, please contact us for a free confidential consultation.

COMMON FMLA/CFRA VIOLATIONS

Employers who terminate employees for needing additional family leave, are in violation of the law. Some employers summarily terminate an employee because they have exhausted 12 weeks of FMLA/CFRA. That is illegal.

It is also illegal when employers have maximum family leave policies. An employer cannot simply fire an employee because it has a “rule” (for example) that 6 months of family leave is the maximum allowed.
Unfortunately, not all Los Angeles workers are fully aware of their rights under the FMLA/CFRA, and even those that do may be severely daunted by the thought of taking legal action against their employer. The right Los Angeles FMLA attorney is the best asset to have on your side in this situation, and they will help you understand all your available options for legal recourse against your employer.

If you or someone you know has been fired or mistreated because of their disability or fired while on family leave, please contact us for a free confidential consultation.

Cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid after you do. Consultations/communications can be virtual if preferred.

“Emanuel Shirazi went above and beyond on my case. My employer treated me so unfairly and I felt like I had no where to turn. I met with Emanuel and he told me: I’ve got your back. This guy is a pit bull who never stops fighting for his clients. So glad he was on my side and not vice versa. Trust me, Emanuel won’t let you down.”

Case Focus: JT

Disability Law - Family Medical Leave

JT was a hard-working employee who was suddenly in need of an immediate leave of absence to take care of his pregnant wife, who was having complications. JT submitted a doctor’s note to his employer indicating his need for FMLA/CFRA leave and later baby bonding leave.

The human resources department of JT’s employer responded in writing that his request for leave had been approved.

But, shortly thereafter, JT receives a termination letter stating that he did not provide the correct documentation for the leave of absence.  JT was not warned about the termination and his employer was wrong about the forms not being provided.  JT’s employer was dead wrong and this was wrongful termination.

Under the FMLA, the California Family Rights Act, and California’s reasonable accommodation laws, employees must be given leaves of absence or time off to take care of an immediate family member’s disability/medical condition or to bond with their new child.  

RESOLVING AN FMLA/CFRA VIOLATION IN LOS ANGELES

If you have been wrongfully terminated after requesting FMLA/CFRA leave, or if your employer has violated your rights under either of these laws in any way, an experienced Los Angeles FMLA lawyer is your best asset when it comes to holding them accountable. The legal process you must navigate to file an FMLA violation claim is more complex than you may expect, and you face similar challenges when you must file a complaint under the CFRA. In either case, the Shirazi Law Firm, PC, can provide the ongoing support and guidance you need to feel more confident about the situation.

If an employer has violated the FMLA, you can file a complaint regarding the incident to the United States Department of Labor. The FMLA includes strict provisions pertaining to your rights as an employee, and once the Department of Labor investigates your claim they can advise you and your legal counsel as to your available remedies.

In the event you were denied FMLA/CFRA leave for any discriminatory reason, you may have grounds to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for your employer’s violation of US anti-discrimination law. For example, if you have a co-worker in an equivalent position to yours who had a similar medical event in the past and your employer approved their request for FMLA/CFRA leave with no issue, but you later file the same type of request for a similar issue and are denied, or if your employer interferes with the process, this could form the basis of a discrimination claim. If your employer showed preference and/or favoritism for employees with certain personal traits that you do not possess, or if you believe your adverse treatment was in response to your race, sex, religion, or other protected personal qualities, this could easily form the basis of an EEOC complaint.

DAMAGES AVAILABLE IN AN FMLA/CFRA VIOLATION CASE

Federal law states that an employee denied FMLA for a legitimate medical concern is entitled to recover damages from the employer who denied their request. Similarly, state law enables an employee who was denied their CFRA leave to recover compensation. While your recent experience with your employer may have caused an obvious economic problem for you and your family, it can be difficult for the average person to accurately assess the full range of the damages available to them in their FMLA/CFRA violation claim.

When you choose the Shirazi Law Firm, PC, to represent you in an FMLA/CFRA case, you can rely on our team to guide you through the US Department of Labor complaint filing process. In the event you must file a discrimination lawsuit, you can also rely on us to help you with your EEOC complaint, including gathering all the supporting documentation you will need to prove the truth of the matter and hold your employer appropriately accountable.

A few of the damages you can potentially secure with a successful FMLA/CFRA violation claim include:

  • Reinstatement. If the wrongfully terminated employee wants their job back, their Los Angeles FMLA attorney can help them secure reinstatement as an element of their case award. However, some employees will understandably have no desire to return to work for an employer who violated their rights.
  • Approval for leave required. If the employer denied a legitimate request for FMLA/CFRA leave made in good faith, the US Department of Labor may compel the employer to grant the leave and meet all related legal requirements for the employee.
  • Back pay. If the employer illegally fired the employee, the employee is entitled to claim the wages they lost. It’s important to note that the FMLA and CFRA allow employees to take unpaid medical leave, so they cannot seek compensation for lost wages they would not have earned in the first place if their leave had been approved. However, if they are immediately fired after returning from leave, they would have the right to seek compensation for wages lost between the time of their firing and the time they filed their medical leave violation claim.
  • Liquidated damages. This type of compensation is intended to punish the defendant for their illegal mistreatment of the employee. The plaintiff can usually claim liquidated damages equal to the amount of the back pay and/or front pay the employee lost, and this includes a calculation for interest.
  • Legal fees. The defendant in your claim can be held responsible for the legal fees you incurred by bringing your case against them. If you hire the right Los Angeles FMLA attorney to handle your case, it may not cost you anything to bring your suit against your employer.

If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated or discriminated against based on a protected category such as the need for family medical leave, give us a call at 310-299-9252 for your free intake. You can also contact the Shirazi Law Firm, PC, online to schedule a consultation with an experienced Los Angeles FMLA attorney, and we will let you know how our team can assist you with your case.

Cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid after you do. Consultations/communications can be virtual if preferred.

“I cannot recommend Mr. Shirazi enough! I was wrongfully terminated from my long term job. I didn’t know where to turn and found Mr. Shirazi. He took the time to talk to me for an hour explaining what legal rights I had. Upon hiring Mr. shirazi he kept me up to date on every step and was honest and upfront with me. He worked miracles and got me a great settlement. Mr Shirazi handles only employment cases and his expertise was invaluable to my case. if you find yourself in need of an employment attorney, Mr. Shirazi is the one to call.”

EMANUEL SHIRAZI

Founder Emanuel Shirazi is an employment lawyer in Los Angeles representing employees who have been legally wronged by their employers. In addition to representing employees, Mr. Shirazi used to defend employers while he worked at the largest employment law firms in the country. Thus, Mr. Shirazi knows the tricks of the trade of the other side and will use that to your advantage in your case. Mr. Shirazi’s experience helps him anticipate your employer’s defense and prepare accordingly.