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What can FMLA do for you?

Sometimes, events occur in life that require you to take more time off work than your sick and/or vacation time allow. The federal government understood this and passed the Family Medical Leave Act. FMLA allows you to take off up to 12 weeks per calendar year for family emergencies, and a Texas employer cannot fire you for it. However, that does not mean that you should run out and ask for this leave just yet. You must meet certain criteria first.

You may qualify for time off under FMLA for the birth, adoption or placement in foster care of a child. You might also be granted such leave while you recover from an illness or injury or take care of an immediate family member (parent, child or spouse). You might also take care of a family member injured while serving in the Armed Forces. FMLA might also be granted if a service member's deployment causes you undue hardship.

Even if you qualify for time off under FMLA, that does not mean that your employer will be happy with it. Since specific rules must be followed to retain the Act's protections, your employer might be waiting for you to make a mistake in order to terminate your employment. In the alternative, you employer might not hold your current position or provide you with a comparable position upon your return. These instances could violate FMLA.

In order to avoid these potentially devastating outcomes, it might be worthwhile to contact a Texas attorney prior to taking FMLA to be sure that you meet the qualifications and follow the guidelines set forth in the Act to protect your employment. If you already took FMLA, and you believe your employer violated your rights under the law, you may also need a legal advocate on your side. After a review of the situation, an attorney can advise you regarding your legal options and advocate for you with your employer, which could include filing a lawsuit.

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