Can Employers Reject My Family Medical Leave?

Long Branch employment lawyers help clients with NJFLA and FMLA cases.Currently, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles qualified workers to unpaid leave for a total of 12 weeks during a 12-month period. This covers time off for childbirth and childcare for a newborn and a worker’s severe health problems. The FMLA provides workers with job security, as it is illegal for companies to fire or take other actions against an employee that is entitled to this leave. However, in certain cases, employers can deny benefits if circumstances allow.

Governor Phil Murphy recently signed a law that expanded employee rights for paid and unpaid leave regarding the Security and Financial Empowerment Act (SAFE), the Temporary Disability Benefits Law (NJTDL), and the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA). Some of the changes taking place starting June 30 of this year include:

  • The NJFLA will now apply to companies with over 30 employees; previously, this number was 50.
  • Qualifying family members and children will also include siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, and parents-in-law.
  • Regarding the NJDTL, employees will be prohibited from requiring workers to use their existing vacation time, paid time off, or other paid leave benefits instead of their family leave time.
  • Employers cannot retaliate or discriminate against any employee that asks for NJTDL benefits.

Reasons for FMLA Rejection

Both employees and employers must meet certain requirements to qualify for FMLA paid leave. The employee must have worked for the company for a year, with no less than 1,250 hours during this time. Their claim must also be an eligible need, which includes childbirth and newborn care, adoption, the employee’s medical condition, or caring for a qualifying family member with a medical condition. Certain companies offer additional paid leave for situations, such as a family member’s passing. Qualifying mental and physical health conditions may need to be verified by a physician. In these cases, the employee has 15 calendar days to provide this documentation. As stated, New Jersey companies must have at least 30 employees for their workers to receive FMLA paid leave.

NJFLA Denial

The revised New Jersey laws increase the amount of benefits for eligible employees from $650 a week to a maximum of $860. This money gives employees and their families vital support to compensate for lost wages from missing work. Certain companies unlawfully deny this paid leave to their workers or retaliate against them in some way for using it. This can include firing the employee, reducing their hours, or switching them to a less desirable position or job location. It is vital to contact a qualified employment lawyer for assistance regarding these matters.

Long Branch Employment Lawyers at Fox & Melofchik, L.L.C Help Clients with NJFLA and FMLA Cases

If you are struggling with receiving the paid leave that you are entitled, contact an experienced Long Branch employment lawyer at Fox & Melofchik, L.L.C. today. Call us at 732-493-9400 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Eatontown, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County, Mercer County, Asbury Park, Neptune, Long Branch, Keansburg, Ocean Township, Eatontown, Red Bank, Middletown, Colts Neck, Deal, Freehold, Holmdel, Jackson, Little Silver, Marlboro, and Rumson.

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