The purpose of the federal Family Medical Leave Act is to protect employees in Texas and other states who experience extenuating family and medical circumstances. Through this law, a qualifying employee is allowed up to a total of 12 weeks of leave without pay each year to recover from an illness or take care of a loved one. Sometimes, however, employers punish workers for taking a Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave -- something for which they may be held liable in civil court.
Some situations where a worker is allowed to take FMLA time off include caring for a newborn or tending to a child adoption. Other situations include dealing with a child's placement into foster care. Still others require an FMLA leave to recover from a serious illness.
A worker is also entitled to take 12 weeks off from work to take care of a sick parent. Taking care of a family member who has been hurt in the service is another legitimate reason for taking off from work. In other situations, FMLA leave is necessary to address a particular type of hardship stemming from the deployment of a loved one.
An employer in Texas could attempt to interfere with an employee's right to take Family Medical Leave Act time off; indeed, sometimes an employer retaliates because of a worker's FMLA leave. If a qualified worker has been denied this time off or has been punished simply for taking it, he or she has the right to take legal action. An attorney can work with the individual to establish the merits of a claim and pursue the appropriate legal remedy.