Experienced Houston Attorney Guides You Through the Family and Medical Leave Act

Serving Montgomery, Harris, Fort Bend, Galveston and Brazoria County with good advice for more than 28 years

At some point in time, every employee needs time off from work to deal with family issues or medical issues. The right to leave is guaranteed by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which applies to all companies with 50 or more employees in a 75 mile radius. The FMLA provides a right to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for all full time employees who have worked at the company for at least a year. An employee can take leave:

  • For the birth and care of a newborn child of the employee
  • For placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care
  • To care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition
  • To take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition
  • To care for an injured service member

Employees who qualify for leave, and who follow the procedures specified in the FMLA, are not only entitled to leave, but are entitled to restoration to their prior position or an equivalent position unless certain narrow exceptions are met.

Houston FMLA attorney David C. Holmes can guide both employers and employees through the FMLA.

FMLA compliance for employers

FMLA compliance can raise a host of complex issues for employers:

  • Eligibility for FMLA leave
  • Certification requirements for FMLA leave
  • Emergency leave situations
  • Requests for intermittent leave
  • Requests for “reduced hours” leave
  • Use of sick time or paid leave time
  • Medical certifications
  • The rights of "key employees"
  • Notice requirements
  • Layoffs involving employees on leave
  • Identifying an "equivalent position"
  • Requiring recertification of health limitations

An employer who violates the FMLA can face not only a claim for damages, but also significant penalties in the form of "liquidated damages." At the Law Offices of David C. Holmes in Houston, our employment lawyers can guide an employer through the treacherous waters of FMLA compliance.

Understanding your FMLA rights as an employee

Employers aren’t the only ones who face complicated questions when it comes to FMLA leave.

  • When are you entitled to FMLA leave?
  • What steps must you take to claim FMLA leave?
  • How much notice must you give to your employer?
  • When can you get intermittent leave or a reduction in your hours, as opposed to not working at all?
  • When can you use your accrued sick time or paid leave time so that your FMLA leave is paid?
  • What kinds of certifications do you need to provide the employer?
  • Are you a "key employee" who can be denied restoration to your job at the end of your leave?
  • What happens if your employer fires you, tells you that you have “abandoned” your job, or restores you to an inferior or less desirable position?
  • What happens if an employer interferes with your right or discriminates against you afterwards?
  • In the case of serious health issues, do you also have applicable protection from disability discrimination?

Houston employment attorney David C. Holmes works with you personally to help resolve any problems you may have with claiming your right to FMLA leave, and he offers sound, honest advice about whether or not you have a legitimate claim in under the FMLA.

Call an employment lawyer who understands the FMLA

The FMLA is complex and filled with snares for the unwary. If you need legal advice regarding an FMLA issue, the Law Offices of David C. Holmes can help. To make an appointment for a free consultation, contact our firm by phone at 713.586.8862 or online.