Houston Family Medical Leave: The Houston Employment Law Blog

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Family Medical Leave in Houston

Family is important in the Lone Star state. Many employees are allowed to take extended time away from work to handle certain family or medical matters under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). However, not every employer is required to provide its employees with family or medical leave. FMLA only covers public agencies, private and public elementary and secondary schools, and employers that employ 50 or more workers.

There are constantly new developments and changes in family medical leave laws. If you need advice on an employment law issue, including family medical leave, you should speak with a Houston employment lawyer. Houston employment lawyers can assess your legal issue and can even file a claim on your behalf. You can find a local lawyer by viewing FindLaw's directory of Houston employment lawyers.


Recently in Family Medical Leave Category

Can Texas Employers Ban Breastfeeding?

Following the public outcry over a Victoria's Secret customer who was not allowed to breastfeed in a fitting room, customers and business owners alike are wondering whether Texas employers can legally ban breastfeeding.

The answer to that question depends on a range of factors, including a woman's right to breastfeed and her right to accommodations.

What Is the FMLA? A Quick Fact Sheet

February marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Family Medical Leave Act. President Bill Clinton signed the FMLA into law in 1993. It took effect later that year.

What is the FMLA?

In a nutshell, the FMLA is a law that helps employees take sick or family leave. It gives eligible employees the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a loved one. It also allows the employee to take that time for sick leave.

Woman Gets Fired for Pumping Breast Milk, Judge Says its OK

Any mother who's gone back to work shortly after having a baby knows how difficult it can be. Now, throw breastfeeding into the mix and it becomes even harder. Not everyone at work understands breastfeeding or will sympathize with a mom who wants to find a private place to pump milk.

But now, to make it even harder for working moms, it's actually legal to fire a woman for lactating at work. Rather, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 does not prevent employers from firing a woman for pumping breast milk.

FMLA, Sick Leave Rules Explained for City of Houston Employees

Feeling a bit under the weather? If you work for the city of Houston, it seems you're probably covered when it comes to paid sick leave.

City of Houston employees are entitled to accrue two-and-a-half hours of sick leave per pay period. This is capped at 65 hours of sick leave per fiscal year, with the year running from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31.

Kingwood Hospital Worker Fired After FMLA Leave for Cancer

Cancer is a terrible thing to be diagnosed with. You can beat it once, twice, three times, but as many times as you beat it there is still the risk that it will come back.

Unfortunately for Tracie Mills, an employee of KPH Consolidation Inc., which operates as Kingwood Medical Center, her cancer recurred. While neither the cancer nor the treatment disabled Mills enough to stop working, she filed for periodic leave for weekly visits to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, according to The Southeast Texas Record. Once this leave was approved, Mills claims she was fired for using it.

The hospital, however, states that she was fired for rudely answering a call over the call light system, according to the Record. Mills claims this is merely a cover for her retaliatory firing. What are her rights — and yours — under the Family and Medical Leave Act?

FMLA Requirements for Employers, You Might Need to Know This

When an employee gets pregnant, how much time do they get off of work?

If you didn't address this in your employee handbook or in the employee's contract, there is a law that governs exactly what you must allow for in terms of time away from work and the position that must be available when the employee comes back to work.

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") requires employers to allow certain employees time off to attend to medical, family or military issues. Texas' Family and Medical Leave Act follows the federal law, but then adds that if an employee works for the state of Texas that they must use all available sick leave and vacation before taking leave under the federal statute.

So what do you need to do specifically to comply with the FMLA requirements for employers?

Her boss said that Crowne Plaza Hotel would stand by her, and hold her job. He even told her that his wife, who had survived breast cancer, would call her and let her know what to expect.

Janet Hustus' employer did exactly what employers are required to do, at least until they fired her, reports ABC News.

Her employer says she was let go, four days after returning to work, due to "unrelated issues." They had to cut back departments and hers was on the list. But Hustus thinks it was due to insurance costs, as she had multiple follow-up surgeries left.

State Workers Can't Sue States For Unpaid Sick Leave: SCOTUS

The Supreme Court of the United States, adopting a states-friendly position, recently ruled that state workers can't sue states for unpaid sick leave under federal law, reports The Los Angeles Times. The ruling strikes down a portion of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

The FMLA, which applies to employers who have more than fifty employees on their payroll, prohibits employers from discriminating against employees who choose to take time off of work to care for certain medical needs of their own, or to care for their family members, including newborn and adopted children, reports FindLaw.

Lactation Discrimination Case Creates Massive Controversy

A Houston judge has sparked what is being dubbed the lactation discrimination controversy by saying that that a woman who was fired for pumping at work did not suffer sex discrimination, reports KENS 5.

The lawsuit brought by Donnicia Venters came about when she came back from maternity leave, asked if it would be okay for her to use a room to pump breast milk, and found that she had been let go, reports Care 2.

Denial of Medical Leave in Texas Prompts Lawsuit

A Collin County man, Edwin Lee Elmore Jr., has filed a lawsuit over denial of medical leave in Texas, reports the Southeast Texas Record.

The suit, filed in the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, alleges that Elmore was fired from his position when he had to take time off for back surgery.

The case of Edwin Lee Elmore Jr., with all due respect, while not a high-impact, high-profile one, is instructive to those workers who are confronted with denial of medical leave in Texas, because it allows them and the rest of us an opportunity to learn about the subject.