Family & Medical Leaves
Employees faced with health issues or circumstances that require them to take time off from work to bond with a new child or to care for a family member often worry that they will lose their jobs. Thankfully, federal and state law protects many employees from adverse action for taking family or medical leave, and employers that threaten employees’ rights to take justified leave can be held accountable. If your employer denied you leave or retaliated against you for taking leave, you can consult legal counsel regarding your potential claims. The dedicated New Jersey employment lawyers of Resnick Law Group regularly help employees whose rights have been unjustly violated seek legal recourse, and we will work tirelessly to help you assert your rights.The Family and Medical Leave Act
Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), certain employees may take leave from their jobs to deal with health or family-related issues. Specifically, the FMLA provides that employees who have worked for a company for a minimum of one year and worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous year may take family or medical leave. Notably, the FMLA only applies to government agencies or employers who employ at least fifty employees for a minimum of twenty weeks in the current or prior year.
Eligible employees can seek leave to recover from a serious health condition or to care for a family member suffering from a serious health condition. Employees can also take leave to bond with a new child, care for a family member seriously injured on active duty in the military, or to handle certain emergencies related to a family member’s military service. Employees may take up to twelve weeks of family or medical leave per twelve-month period, except for employees taking leave to care for a family member injured on active duty, who may take up to twenty-six weeks of leave. Leave under the FMLA is unpaid, but employees are entitled to continue their health benefits at the same cost they pay while working. In most instances, employees are entitled to reinstatement to their prior position or an equivalent position at the end of their leave. A seasoned employment lawyer can evaluate whether you may have been subject to improper treatment in relation to your FMLA rights.New Jersey’s Family Leave Act
Similar to the FMLA, the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) permits some employees to take leave to care for family members with serious health conditions or to care for a newborn or recently adopted child. Notably, however, the NJFLA does not permit employees to take leave due to their own health issues. More employers must comply with the NJFLA than the FMLA, though, as the NJFLA applies to employers with thirty or more employees, as well as government agencies regardless of the number of employees.
Employees may be eligible for leave under the NJFLA if they have worked for their employer for a minimum of a year, and worked at least 1,000 hours for the employer in the prior twelve months. Employees permitted to take leave pursuant to the NJFLA can take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave per twelve-month period. Eligible employees can also take up to twenty days of leave in a twelve-month period to care for family members who are the victims of sexually violent offenses or domestic violence. Employers who have at least twenty-five employees are required to provide domestic violence leave. As with the FMLA, employees who take leave under the NJFLA are generally permitted to return to their previous position or similar position at the completion of their leave.Recourse for Employer Violations of the FMLA or NJFLA
Employees whose rights to take leave under the FMLA or NJFLA were violated by their employers may seek reinstatement, compensation for any lost wages or benefits, or in some cases, both reinstatement and monetary damages. Employers can also be held liable for retaliating against employees for seeking or taking permitted leave.Meet With a Trusted Employment Lawyer in New Jersey
Employees contending with medical issues or the health issues of a loved one should be permitted to take time off from work without fear of losing their jobs. If your employer threatened your job or terminated you for taking family or medical leave, you can speak to an attorney regarding your rights. At Resnick Law Group, we take pride in helping employees seek justice for wrongful employment actions, and we have the skills and resources to help you advocate for your rights. Our primary office is in Roseland, and we represent employees in employment lawsuits across New Jersey, including in cities throughout Hudson, Bergen, Essex, Morris, Monmouth, Somerset, Passaic, Hunterdon, Mercer, Union, Middlesex, Warren, and Sussex Counties. We also have an office in Manhattan, and we represent people in lawsuits in New York City as well as in Rockland and Westchester Counties. We can be reached at our Roseland office at (973) 781-1204 or at our New York office at (646) 867-7997, or you can contact us via our form online to set up a meeting.