For workers in New Orleans who have a family medical problem, the Family Medical Leave Act can be a life-saver. There is nothing easy about caring for a sick child, but when there is also discrimination for taking family leave, the parent's life is made exponentially more difficult. FMLA is part of employment law. When it is violated, the person who is facing the problems at work needs to understand how to exercise their rights.
A woman who has two ill sons has filed a lawsuit alleging that her employer didn't give her the required time off according to FMLA. One has suffered from seizures since birth and was hospitalized. Her employer requested a date when the child was set to be discharged. The woman couldn't possibly know when that would be. The FMLA provides a worker with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave without a threat to the employee's job.
The woman alleges that she never received that offer from her place of employment. Her work file was marked with "occurrences" because she was absent. The next year, both sons suffered from problems that required hospitalizations and the same thing happened. She received FMLA in 2013, but asked for an extra week due to her sons again being hospitalized. It was declined. She was then fired for excessive absences.
In many instances, workers are subject to their FMLA rights being violated simply because they're not aware of them. Workers who have an ill child, are caring for a sick parent and who are having a baby all have the right to time off without the threat of losing their job. There are certain criteria that must be met to be eligible for FMLA including time working at the business and number of workers the business has. For employers to refuse to give a worker the rights that are part of employment law, filing litigation is often the only way to receive their benefits.
In this instance, a woman with two sick children alleges that she was deprived of her rights under FMLA. She has filed a lawsuit for their failure to give her time off and then for firing her. This kind of case is exactly the type of instance that FMLA was created to avoid.
Source: KTVE, "Resident Suing West Monroe Business, Accusing Federal Rights Violations," Nick Lawton, July 21, 2014