Life can throw a curveball at any time. In some cases, those curveballs can come in the form of serious illness or injury to a person or an immediate family member. These issues can sometimes result in an individual needing time away from work in order to handle his or her own care or that of a family member. The Family and Medical Leave Act can help protect a person’s job when needing extended time off if he or she qualifies. However, it only works as it should when employers follow the law.
If a Washington employer does not comply with the law, it can have negative effects for employees and the company. For example, the company could suffer from a lack of productivity if an employer does not properly manage FMLA leave allowances. As a result, that loss of productivity would end up costing the company a considerable amount of money, especially if a situation qualified a person for FMLA leave but an employer made the worker take paid sick days off.
Additionally, if an employer does not properly allow FMLA leave, it could lead to complaints and possible legal claims from employees. Some consequences of these issues include the following:
- an investigation from the Department of Labor to review employment policies and legal compliance, even those not specifically listed in the complaint
- fines resulting from DOL investigation if legal violations have occurred
- lawsuits from workers who believe that their FMLA rights were violated
While Washington employers should do their best to understand who is covered under the Family and Medical Leave Actand how to follow the law, it is also wise for employees to understand their rights under the FMLA. This information could help employees better understand if their employer has not complied with the law. If that is the case, understanding their legal options for addressing wrongdoing may be wise as well.