If your FMLA request was denied by your employer, that doesn’t have to be the end of the road. If you meet the FMLA eligibility requirements, you are entitled to push back with the help of an employment law attorney to ensure that you and/or your family gets the care that they need.
FMLA Leave Eligibility
When you or a close family member is impacted by a serious health condition, you can request 12 weeks unpaid leave from your workplace under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). As long as you meet the eligibility requirements, your request must be honored by your employer. Before you challenge FMLA denial, scan the following list to make sure you qualify.
FMLA applies to:
- Private-sector employers who employ at least 50 people who work within a 75-mile radius of one another OR state, local, and federal government employers
- Employees with a serious health condition
- Employees with a close family member’s serious health condition (usually a parent, child, or spouse)
- Employees with a newborn child, newly placed foster child, or newly adopted child
- Employees that have worked for their current employer for at least 12 months and at least 1,250 hours
If you are requesting FMLA leave due to a military family member’s service-related injuries, you are eligible to take up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave during a 12 month period.
Unfortunately, some employers will try to take advantage of their employees and may attempt to deny your right to leave under these circumstances. Employers could also attempt to make life difficult for you upon your return. If you choose to challenge their response, it is important to know that the law is on your side.
Getting The Care That You Are Entitled To
If your employer attempts to discourage you from taking your leave either through threat of termination, loss of insurance, or otherwise, they are disregarding the terms of FMLA and should be challenged. Employers may also tell you that your health insurance will be dropped if you take leave or ask you to return to work before your leave is over.
These behaviors from your employer should not be tolerated as they are in direct violation of your rights under FMLA.
If your FMLA request has been denied by your employer, there are a few steps you can take to position yourself to challenge them successfully. First, document everything. Retain copies of your leave request, your doctor’s note explaining your need for leave, and your employer’s reasons for the denial (you should ask for these in writing). You can always file a new request if your initial request was missing required documentation.
Employers may think that they can get away with denying your right to FMLA leave. An experienced employment law attorney will remind your employer that they must follow FMLA to the letter. Your employer is required to support you and your family’s health, but if they don’t, seek legal counsel to help you get the care that you are entitled to.