FMLA and Job Protections for Caretakers

Massachusetts FMLA law concept.Happy African American father and son are reading a book and smiling while lying on floor spending time together at home. Children education and development concept.

FMLA, the Family and Medical Leave Act, provides protections to employees at work. The law offers job-protected leave to individuals who have caretaking responsibilities. FMLA exists to protect workers from discrimination, including when they need to take time off to care for their own serious health condition, to care for their family member who has a serious health condition, or the birth or adoption of a child. At The Maura Greene Law Group in Boston, our team of dedicated employment law attorneys will zealously advocate for your interests if you have been subjected to discrimination or retaliation in the workplace based on your caretaking responsibilities. Call or contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

FMLA Provides Employees with Job Protected Leave

Employees eligible under this law may take up to 12 workweeks of leave under any 12-month period for certain family and health reasons. In certain circumstances, an employee may be eligible to take intermittent leave. Intermittent leave may be used by employees who need to take blocks of time off, need to schedule medical appointments, work a reduced schedule, or take time off when a medical condition flares up. The protections during FMLA leave include continuation of group health insurance coverage and potentially other benefits based upon the employer’s policies. The law requires the employee to be returned to their same or equivalent job upon their return from leave. 

Caretaker Protections Under FMLA

It is illegal for an employer in Massachusetts to discriminate against an employee for their actual or perceived caretaking responsibilities for family members. This includes caring for children, elderly parents, or a disabled family members. Examples of discrimination include denial of promotions or employment, harassment in the workplace, reduction in pay, reduction in hours, negative performance reviews, and other employment actions that are detrimental to the employee. An employee isn’t necessarily required to show that they had actual caretaking responsibilities. It may be sufficient to show that the employer perceived the employee as caring for a family member and discriminated against the employee on that basis.

Why is FMLA Necessary?

FMLA protects workers from discrimination and retaliation when they need to take time off from work to care for their own serious health condition, the care of their family member who has a serious health condition, or the birth or adoption of a child. 

Under FMLA, an employer is prohibited from interfering with an employee’s attempt to exercise their rights under FMLA for a job protected leave. Under FMLA, an employer cannot refuse to authorize leave for an eligible employee. Similarly, employers cannot discourage employees from using FMLA leave. The law also prohibits retaliation against an employee who takes leave. Accordingly, employers cannot use an employee’s request for use of FMLA leave to deny a promotion, refuse to hire, or to take disciplinary action against an employee. 

Call or Contact Our Office

The knowledgeable Massachusetts employment law attorneys at The Maura Greene Law Group have represented victims of workplace discrimination throughout the Boston area. To schedule a consultation to discuss whether you’re eligible for job protected leave including FMLA, call the office or contact us today.

The Not So Fine Print:

We see patterns in our practice, like the ones described above.  However, every case has its own unique facts. The materials available on this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Before you take any action, you should contact an employment attorney to obtain advice on your own situation. We can’t provide legal advice here and this isn’t intended as legal advice. Use of and access to this Web site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the law firm and the user or browser.