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Los Angeles FMLA Wrongful Termination Lawyer

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The Family and Medical Leave Act was passed in order to provide workers with the right to care for themselves or family members without the fear of retaliatory actions against their jobs. This necessary time is often used when one is severely ill or must take care of a family member who is suffering from an illness. However, some employees are wrongfully terminated as a result of acting upon this right and may need the support of a Los Angeles FMLA wrongful termination lawyer.

At Shirazi Law Firm, PC, our employment attorneys understand how important this act is for workers across California. While this time off is unpaid and temporary, it should not result in the termination of employment. Employees have a right to care for themselves and their family members without fear of employer retaliation. If you feel you have been wrongfully terminated from your employment, you deserve an attorney who will fight for your rights.

FMLA and Your Rights

FMLA is available to employees working within companies that have 50 or more employees (5 employees under California’s CFRA) who are employed for a minimum of 12 months out of the year. While FMLA is unpaid leave, it does grant employees several rights, which include:

  • Time for the care of children, a spouse, or a parent who is suffering from a serious medical condition
  • Time to assist or tend to circumstances related to pregnancy or childbirth
  • Bonding time after childbirth for the care of a newborn
  • Bonding time and care for adopted children and foster children
  • Time provided for the care of a family member who is a part of the armed forces
  • Time to tend to injuries or illnesses that may prevent an employee from completing their job

These are important rights to help protect the mental and physical well-being of employees.

FMLA Procedure

FMLA is allowable with a 30-day notice from the worker to their employer. This notice can also be done in a time frame that is determined to be “practical.” When an employee exercises their right to take leave, they are allowed up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. During this time, their position, or one of similar stature, is protected, and upon their return, they have a right to that position.

Unfortunately, this does not always happen for employees. Some employers choose to change the position for which employees are reinstated or choose to pass over the reinstatement. This is not allowable and could prompt you to reach out to a qualified employment attorney to review the options that are available to you. Such actions taken against you could include:

  • An unfair demotion
  • A reduction in pay
  • Wrongful termination
  • Any other adverse actions taken by an employer

Employment Termination

California is considered an “at-will” employment state, meaning that it can terminate the employment of any employee at any time and for any reason. However, this may not be done on any grounds considered discriminatory or that violate state or federal labor laws. FMLA is one of the labor laws by which employees are protected from wrongful termination.

If an employer terminates a worker because they exercised their right to take FMLA leave, then the employer is opening the door to a civil claim filed by the employee against them. In this situation, the impacted employee needs to ensure they have full documentation of what occurred, what conversations took place, if there are any witnesses to behaviors exhibited by the employer, and any other information they feel could help prove their claim.

The employee should then speak with an experienced and qualified employment attorney who will help guide them through the process of filing a claim against their employer. Reporting the violation will indicate that the employer violated the rights of the employee and chose to retaliate against them for exercising their right to medical leave.

FMLA Wrongful Termination FAQs

Q: Can You Sue for Wrongful Termination in California?

A: Yes, wrongful termination is an employment law violation that allows you to file a claim against your employer. California is an at-will state for employment; however, if you are terminated on the grounds of exercising a legal employment right or discrimination, you could seek damages. If you feel you have been wrongfully terminated, speak with an employment attorney.

Q: Can You Be Fired While on FMLA California?

A: Choosing to take FMLA leave cannot be grounds by which you can be terminated from employment. It is a legal right that you have, and your job is protected while on leave. However, you can still be fired from your employment if there is a separate cause or violation of your employment terms that is discovered while you are on leave. FMLA does not protect you from termination for performance-based decisions.

Q: How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit in California?

A: In California, a wrongful termination claim must be filed within three years of the date of termination. There are some situations in which it must be filed within two years, but the exact time is dependent on the reason for the termination. As soon as you suspect you have been wrongfully terminated, you should speak with an attorney who can review the facts of your case.

Q: Can an Employer Deny FMLA in California?

A: If your place of employment offers FMLA, then your employer cannot deny your request for leave. It is a right that is granted to you if you work at a place of employment that has 5 or more employees who work at least 12 months. Under this act, you may take necessary leave of up to 12 weeks, unpaid, to care for yourself or a family member or to assist in the pregnancy and birthing process.

California FMLA Wrongful Termination Attorney

FMLA is vital for those who need to step away from work in order to recover mentally or physically. This right to look after your own well-being or the well-being of another is an important step in keeping California workers healthy and able to earn a living for themselves or their families. If you feel you have been wrongfully terminated for engaging in this right, contact Shirazi Law Firm, PC, today and let our experienced attorneys get you the help you deserve.

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

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

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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.