In Maryland, most full-time employees who have worked at a company for a year are entitled to unpaid leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and Maryland law. These laws typically apply to companies with at least 50 employees, although there are some that apply to organizations with only 15 employees.
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (and similar enactments operative in the states, including in Maryland and Virginia) is protective legislation of great importance to many American workers dealing with serious injuries that require their temporary absence from the workplace.
As our regular readers know, we have several times discussed in our blog that many Maryland workers are entitled to take leave for work to care for a family member with a serious medical condition or because the employee has a serious health condition making them unable to perform their job.
You have just been fired. You are angry. Your former boss was dismissive, curt and impolite during the meeting about termination of your employment. It can make a person wonder if this is a situation in which you might need a Maryland employment law attorney.
Having a sick child shouldn’t cost a person their job or health coverage. Neither should a spouse’s illness lead to either of those outcomes. The same is true for having a baby or taking time to care for a newborn.
A prominent chef who was once featured on a Food Network cooking competition show is being sued for alleged violations of the Family Medical Leave Act by a former chef at one of his restaurants. The man who filed the lawsuit says that when his wife suffered from a sudden stroke and he needed time off, his boss took a variety of actions that violated the man’s right under the Family Medical Leave Act to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave without losing his job.
An employee of a poultry farm did not have her rights violated when her employer fired her after she did not return promptly from a trip she took to care for her ill father. The woman said that the firing was a wrongful termination because under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employers cannot retaliate against employees who take time off to care for a member of their immediate family who is sick.
Most readers know that under the Family Medical Leave Act, employees are eligible to take up to 12 weeks of leave to care for a new baby or an immediate family member who is ill. However, because of restrictions on the law (size of the company, for one), about 40 percent of American workers qualify for the leave. Some employees are also lucky enough to have jobs that will pay them for a portion of that time, but many must have a difficult decision to stay home and care for a loved one and forgo pay. The main benefit of taking leave under the FMLA is that it is job-protected, so an employer cannot replace you while you are gone and cannot discriminate against you or punish you when you return.
It might surprise readers to hear that when compared with other developed nations, the United States is considered to have some of the worst policies regarding parental leave when a new child is born or adopted. Under the Family Medical Leave Act, job-protected leave is guaranteed for up to 12 weeks, but it is all unpaid unless an employer has their own policy that allows paid time off. This means that for many families, taking time off under the FMLA may not be financially feasible and puts them in the difficult position of deciding whether to stay home a little longer or to hire someone to help with childcare, which can also be expensive for a newborn.
Telling an employer that you or your spouse is expecting a baby can be a nerve-wracking experience. It can be hard to know how a boss will react and whether it will impact your career. As a result, many people take different approaches to disclosing a pregnancy and starting the discussion on maternity or paternity leave, but there are a few things that employees can do to make the process easier.