Could Texas employers violate the FMLA?

The Family and Medical Leave Act helps many workers take the time they need away from work in order to attend to medical issues. While the FMLA offers protective benefits, some Texas employees may find themselves being retaliated against for taking advantage of their rights under this leave. Unfortunately, some people could even face wrongful termination.

It was recently reported than an individual in another state was treated unjustly for taking leave. Apparently, the man was a public defender, and he had taken time off work under the FMLA because of an undisclosed illness. However, after taking the leave, he was reportedly dismissed from his position at the county public defender's office, which he believes was retaliation for taking time off.

As a result of this negative outcome, the man has filed a legal claim against the public defender's office. The claim states that he has sustained damages relating to lost pay, benefits and bonuses, and he hopes to recover those damages as well as gain reinstatement to his former position. There was no indication whether the defendants in the case offered comment on the pending litigation.

Violations of the FMLA can have detrimental effects on workers who have medical conditions or have family members with medical conditions. This law allows qualifying individuals to take needed leave in order to attend to their health. If Texas residents believe that they qualified for such leave and then suffered negative outcomes for utilizing their time off, they may feel the need to legally address the issues. Consulting with knowledgeable attorneys could help concerned parties understand their options.

Source:, "Lancaster County Public Defender's Office accused of violating FMLA", Louie Torres, July 17, 2017