The State of Connecticut, like most other states, offers job protection to employees who need to take a leave of absence from their jobs. These benefits are not available to all employees. You have to work a certain period of hours to qualify. You also have to work for an employer who is required to offer FMLA. If you’ve been denied these benefits, it would be a good idea to call and talk to a Hartford employment lawyer.
According to Connecticut’s Family Medical Leave Act, you may qualify for unpaid leave. In order to qualify, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must work for a company that has at least 75 employees
- You must prove that you have a legitimate reason to take the leave
- You must have worked for the company for at least 12 months
- You must have worked at least 1,000 hours in the 12 months immediately preceding the commencement of the FMLA leave
Under Connecticut law, you are entitled to up to 16 weeks of unpaid leave. This is a bit more generous than what you get under the Federal FMLA law. The major difference between the two is that the federal government requires you to work 1,250 hours in the 12 months preceding your leave. You also only get 12 weeks of unpaid leave as opposed to the State law.
What is the Purpose of the Family Medical Leave Act?
The purpose of the FMLA is to provide workers with a chance to tend to serious health issues at home. This includes the birth of a new baby. Both the husband and wife are entitled to 12 weeks of time off. Typically, what happens is the spouse takes their time consecutively, so they buy 6 months of time before they need to find childcare.
The other situations in which you can qualify for FMLA is the following:
- You have to take care of a sick family member (spouse, parent, child)
- You personally are sick and need the time for treatment
- You have adopted a baby or taken in a new foster child
You must check with your employer to see what their policy is for requesting leave under the FMLA. It’s important that you follow their policy exactly.
Is FMLA Available to Both Men and Women?
FMLA is now available to both men and women. Years ago, men complained that it wasn’t fair that their wife was allowed to take time off to bond with a newborn, but men weren’t. The federal government passed the FMLA in 1993. This law allows both men and women to apply for unpaid time off. The time off for the birth of a newborn can be utilized by either the mother or the father. The same is true if the family decides to adopt a child or bring in a foster child. The law provides both parents with up to 12 or 16 weeks (State) of unpaid leave.
Will You Return to the Same Position?
One of the most common questions our clients ask us is if they get their old job back when they return from leave. The easy answer to this question is yes. Under both the Federal and State Family Medical Leave Act, your job is to be protected while you’re out on leave. However, there are cases where an employee has returned to work only to learn that their job has been given to somebody else. In these cases, the courts have found extenuating circumstances.
Call a Hartford Employment Lawyer Right Away
If you have applied for FMLA and have been denied, you may need a Hartford employment lawyer. Depending on your situation, you may be entitled to the benefits under the Family Medical Leave Act. Sometimes an employer denies the request because they don’t believe you qualify. Or they may argue that you’ve already exhausted your time off. You won’t really know for sure until your attorney speaks with your employer.
The best thing to do is to call Aeton Law Partners and set up a date and time to come in. You can sit down with an experienced Hartford employment lawyer. Let them know what’s happened. Make sure you bring a copy of any documentation you have. Your attorney will need this in order to prepare your case. Since these matters tend to be time-sensitive, you don’t want to wait too long to give us a call.