Your WORK. Your WORTH.
Your WORK. Your WORTH.

Leaves of Absence Lawyers in Missouri

Advising Employees of Their Rights

As an employee in America, you are allowed to take a leave of absence from work in certain situations. There are many laws that protect your right to a leave of absence due to pregnancy, family and medical leave, worker’s compensation, disability, and more. Unfortunately, some employers are unaware of these laws, leading to employees being unfairly denied time off work or even fired for requesting leave time. If you have encountered any issues pertaining to your leave of absence, our team is here to help.

At Riggan Law Firm, LLC, we will review your case to determine whether you were unfairly retaliated against or denied your rights under the law. If so, we can assist you in pursuing legal action to seek compensation and get justice for your rights being infringed upon. If your employer has violated your rights, contact our team today by calling 314-528-9661 for more information.

What Are the Most Common Reasons for a Leave of Absence Case?

There are a handful of reasons why an employee might request a leave of absence that an employer must cooperate with. If an employer denies this request or terminates the employee for making the request, there could be cause for a civil suit. While all leave of absence cases are different, there are some common ones we see often.
Leave of absence cases often involve the following scenarios:

  •  Family and medical leave: The Family and Medical Leave Act allows parents, both mothers and fathers, to take time off work when they have a child. Similarly, it allows caregivers to take time off from work to care for sick family members. This federal law entitles certain employees to take time off under specific circumstances.
  •  Accommodation of a disability: If an employee is disabled, their employer must provide reasonable accommodation to complete their duties. In some cases, this can involve an employer providing the employee with time off work. Employees with disabilities are protected under federal law.
  • Leave for military personnel: Military personnel cannot lose their employment if they are called in for active service. They must also be allowed to return to their position after they return. Similarly, anyone acting as a caregiver for service members who were injured in the line of duty may qualify for a leave of absence.
  • Retaliation: Some employers may attempt to retaliate against employees for taking or requesting a leave of absence. Harassing, discriminating against, or terminating an employee in retaliation is against the law.

What is FMLA?

The Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, is a federal act that provides employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave annually. Employees must qualify for this leave to take advantage of it.

Generally, there are four main reasons why someone could qualify for FMLA:

  • Birth of a newborn child
  • Adoption of a child
  • Care for an immediate family member with a serious health problem
  • An inability to work due to a serious health condition

FMLA is a federally mandated minimum, and many employers offer more than 12 weeks of leave for similar circumstances to attract qualified applicants. If you believe your employer has committed an FMLA violation, contact our team today. We will review the circumstances of your case to determine whether your rights have been violated and if you can pursue legal action.

Generally, companies must have at least 50 employees for at least 20 weeks and engage in commerce or an adjacent industry before a federal complaint can be filed. Employees must be employed for at least 12 months and 1,250 hours before they are eligible for FMLA leave. If you are a military personnel, you may have additional rights to leave under USERRA.

What is an FMLA Violation?

If you qualify for FMLA, an employer cannot interfere with your FMLA rights. Your employer must inform you of your rights under FMLA as soon as you notify them of a condition that could qualify you for unpaid leave. Similarly, an employer cannot deny a request for leave that has been properly formatted. Employers also cannot fail to reinstate the employee to the same or an equivalent position once they return. An employer also cannot retaliate against an employee for exercising their rights under FMLA.

If you believe your employer has committed an FMLA violation, you must file a lawsuit against your employer within two years of the unlawful act. If your employer willfully violated FMLA, you have three years to file a lawsuit. You may be able to request back pay, liquidated damages equal to the amount of money lost, court costs, attorney fees, injunctive relief, and more.

Does Missouri Offer Additional Protection?

Some states have additional leave of absence protection for employees on top of FMLA guidelines. Unfortunately, Missouri does not have any additional protections for employees who are eligible for FMLA leave. In some cases, Missouri may require employees to use their sick days, vacation days, or PTO days before allowing them to take unpaid medical leave. Reviewing federal guidelines is the best way to determine your right to a leave of absence under the law.

How Can an Employment Law Attorney Help Me?

If you need to take a leave of absence from work, you may be eligible for unpaid leave under the law. If your employer has attempted to deny you your leave or retaliate against you for taking leave, you may have a legal case against them. An employment law lawyer on our team will help you gather evidence and file a lawsuit against your employer to seek compensation and get the outcome you deserve. For more information about our services, call Riggan Law Firm, LLC, at 314-528-9661.