The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that gives eligible employees of covered employers the right to take unpaid, protected leave for certain care-taking responsibilities and health problems. (New Jersey has enacted its own statute, the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA)).
The FMLA prohibits employers from denying leave to their employees. Upon an employee’s return from a covered leave, the employer must allow him or her to return to work at the same position or a similar, equivalent position.
This law helps employees balance work and family obligations. Unfortunately, not every employer understands the law – and some willfully or negligently violate its provisions.
Under the FMLA, employees may take leave for the following reasons:
- The birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child;
- A family member’s serious health condition;
- The employee’s own serious health condition; and
- Certain circumstances related to a family member’s military deployment or serious injury or illness arising from military service.
If you live or work in New Jersey, the NJ Family Leave Act (NJFLA) may apply to you as well.
If you believe that your employer denied your rights to family or medical leave or retaliated against you for exercising your right to take protected leave, you should contact an attorney in your area.