Unpaid leave can be necessary for many reasons including personal health issues, family emergencies, and maternity/paternity needs. However, employees often wonder if they are entitled to job protection while on unpaid leave. This blog post will delve into the legal aspects of job protection during unpaid leave and the valuable role of employment lawyers, like James Hawkins APLC, in safeguarding employees' rights.
Are You Entitled To Job Protection While On Unpaid Leave?
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a significant piece of legislation that grants eligible employees unpaid leave for up to 12 weeks without the risk of losing their job. To qualify for FMLA protection, employees must work for employers who have at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius, have worked for their employer for at least 12 months, and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months preceding the start of the leave.
Job Protection Rights Beyond FMLA
In some cases, employees might not qualify for FMLA protection or may require extended job protection beyond 12 weeks. Employment lawyers can assist in exploring other legal options that protect an employee's job while on unpaid leave. It is advisable to consult experienced employment attorneys, like James Hawkins APLC, who can assess the unique circumstances and determine applicable legal protections.
Employer Obligations And Employee Responsibilities
Employers must comply with legal obligations regarding job protection during unpaid leave and refrain from terminating or retaliating against an employee for exercising their rights. However, employees should also fulfill their responsibilities, such as providing appropriate notice, keeping their employer informed, and adhering to employer policies or procedures.
Seeking Legal Guidance From Employment Attorneys
Navigating the legal complexities surrounding job protection can be overwhelming. Consulting an employment attorney can provide valuable insights and assistance in understanding your entitlements and protecting your rights.
Understanding the nuances of laws like FMLA and seeking legal advice from experienced employment attorneys can ensure that employees know their rights and can safeguard their jobs. Contact James Hawkins APLC to receive the guidance you need to safeguard your job during unpaid leave.