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Home > Employment Law > Family & Medical Leave Act

Family & Medical Leave Act Lawyer

Employer Responsibilities Under Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that is overseen and enforced by the United States Department of Labor. If you own or are incorporating a business in Illinois, it is essential that you discuss this law and your company’s policies with experienced FMLA lawyers to ensure compliance and to protect your business from future liability.

With more than 150 years of combined legal experience, the FMLA lawyers and employment attorneys at Pluymert, MacDonald, Hargrove & Lee, Ltd. know the importance of taking early measures to comply with employer responsibilities under FMLA and other employment laws to lessen any risk of potential litigation.

Is Your Business an FMLA Covered Employer?

FMLA coverage is not required of all businesses. FMLA rules only apply for the following types of companies:

  • Public employers, including all federal, state and local public employers, including public school districts; and
  • Private employers who have over 50 employees for at least 20 weeks in the current or preceding calendar year.

What are Employer Responsibilities Under FMLA?

If a business has over 50 employees, it is required to allow its employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the care of a newborn or adopted child, or for the serious illness of the employee and/or his or her spouse, child or parent. The employer must allow the employee to continue to receive coverage under the business health insurance plan during this time.

After allowing the unpaid leave, the employer is required to offer the employee his or her old position back, or an equivalent position. FMLA defines an equivalent position to be:

  • The same shift or general work schedule
  • The same or similar duties and responsibilities
  • The same general level of skill, identical pay and identical benefits

An employer can require that the employee use his or her paid sick days or paid vacation leave during part or all of the FMLA leave time. An employer can also require a medical certification that the illness is a serious health condition by a qualified physician.

Employers are also required to post a notice explaining the FMLA rules and FMLA provisions in a conspicuous place.

What Type of Employee is FMLA Eligible?

Employees do not automatically have FMLA eligibility. FMLA benefits are granted to employees when they:

  • Work for an employer covered under the Act;
  • Worked 1,250 hours or more in the past 12 months for the employer;
  • Work at a location where the employer has over 50 employees within 75 miles;
  • Worked for the employer for at least 12 months.

Are There FMLA Penalties for an Employer’s Failure to Follow the Act?

An employer can be fined by the Department of Labor for failing to follow the FMLA rules. Employees may also have causes of action to sue in civil court for damages for FMLA violations, and/or to seek damages for retaliation for exercising their FMLA rights.

Need More Information About FMLA Rules for Your Business?

The Des Plaines and Hoffman Estates FMLA lawyers at Pluymert, MacDonald, Hargrove & Lee, Ltd. represent businesses that need employment policies and handbooks to ensure full compliance with all laws, including the Family and Medical Leave Act. We also represent employers who are being investigated by the Department of Labor or who have been sued by an employee in civil court for alleged FMLA violations.

Reach out to our FMLA lawyers at either our Des Plaines and Hoffman Estates law offices; we serve the entire Chicagoland area.

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