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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

Number of FMLA Claims Increases in 2010

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The Family Medical Leave Act entitles many employees to as much as 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period so that personal or family medical problems can be taken care of. FindLaw states that employers must provide this leave if 50 or more workers have been employed with the company or agency for at least the past 20 weeks. Any covered employee who has their rights violated under FMLA or is retaliated against for taking family medical leave can contact a Houston employment lawyer to file a claim.

Nacogdoches Bus Driver Claims FMLA Violation

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A Nacogdoches school bus driver has filed a lawsuit against her former employer, claiming that she was discriminated against and that the Nacogdoches Independent School District violated the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The Southeast Texas Record reports that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission got involved in her case earlier this year, which resulted with the school district agreeing to rehire the bus driver Angela Harless. However, Angela Harless claims that the defendant did not follow through with the agreement and still refuses to hire her.

Woman Claims Job Loss After Taking FMLA Leave

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Under the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, a covered employee has the right to take up to 12 weeks of leave to handle a serious health condition or to take care of a family member, according to FindLaw. Violations of this law can lead to expensive lawsuits for the employer.

The Southeast Texas Record reports that a Denton County resident filed a lawsuit against Automotive Operations, which was doing business as Pat Lobb Toyota of McKinney, alleging retaliation in violation of the Texas Labor code and violations of FMLA. As a car title administrator for the company, Krista M. Boggs reportedly requested a 30-day leave from her job to care for her husband who was suffering from diabetes complications. She later requested an additional four weeks of leave to care for her husband.

More Rights Extended to Gay Employees of Federal Government

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Gay and lesbian employees working for the federal government now have something new to look forward to. According to the Washington Post, gay employees can now take leave without pay when tending to a family member's educational or medical needs.

Director of Office of Personnel Management John Berry instructed in a September 10 memo that federal agencies must now extend 24 hours of leave without pay each year to gay workers with a domestic partner. Accompanying children to medical or dental appointments or taking care of a sick partner are some of the ways in which this type of leave can be used.

Highland Village Accused of Violating FMLA

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A former captain with the Highland Village Fire Department has hired a Texas employment lawyer to represent him in a lawsuit against the city of Highland Village. The Southeast Texas Record reports that the lawsuit alleges that the city violated the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) when Timothy L. Moehlman was demoted from his supervisor position for allowing a subordinate to swap shifts due to a medical problem.

Department of Labor Amends FMLA

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Last month the Department of Labor announced an amended Family Medical Leave Act in which same-sex couples have more rights under the law. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Department of Labor expanded their definition of "son or daughter" to a broader definition, which has extended the rights to non-traditional families.

Allowing Men to Go on Paternity Leave

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The Massachusetts State Senate recently approved legislation to ensure that men are able to take time off work when they have children and still keep their jobs, according to The Eagle Tribune. A law like this may bring up questions for Texas employment lawyers and lawmakers, because it could encourage the Lone Star state to adopt similar measures.

Under the federal Family Medical Leave Act, both men and woman are guaranteed up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave when they have children. Yet, there are many provisions under FMLA that don't allow every employee the right to take this much time off work. FindLaw states that FMLA only needs to apply to companies that have 50 or more employees. If a company is covered by FMLA, then an employee is only qualified for FMLA benefits if he or she has worked for the company for at least 12 months and has worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately prior to taking the leave.

Office Depot Employee Files FMLA Lawsuit Against Company

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Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), most employees of large companies have the right to take extended time away from work in order to handle certain family or medical needs. Employers that are covered by FMLA can be sued if they don't let an employee take such time or punish an employee for taking the family medical leave.

The Southeast Texas Record reports that a manager for the Office Depot in Frisco was allegedly demoted from her position after taking time off to deal with the death of her father. Because the ex-manager, Sheri Vigoda, believes that her demotion was unlawful, she has filed a lawsuit against Office Depot of Texas LP and Office Depot Inc. in the Sherman division of the Eastern District of Texas.

Here's a very sad employment law story that Texas employment lawyers will be dealing with.

The Southeast Texas Record reports that Natalie Schroeder was seven months pregnant with twins, but that doctors had considered her pregnancy a high risk. Doctors required the woman to see a physician and a specialist frequently with the appointments taking roughly an hour each time.

Her employer had accommodated her appointments for seven months, but she was forced to miss an appointment in her seventh month of pregnancy after her supervisor had urged her to finish up a report. But three days later, Ms. Schroeder went into labor and delivered one healthy baby and one stillborn son. The woman alleges that that her son's fetal distress would have been recognized and possibly prevented if her supervisor had allowed her to go in for her doctor's appointment.

Military Family Act Would Change FMLA Standards

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A controversial piece of legislation could expand the Family Medical Leave Act to provide up to two weeks of leave -- unpaid if an employer chooses -- to people not covered by the military leave provisions of the existing FMLA.

The Navy Times reports that House Bill 3247, also known as The Military Family Leave Act, is now pending before two congressional committees. The current law has several provisions that can deny employees of family medical leave. For example, an employee is not covered under FMLA if he or she has worked for less than one year with the current employer. The employee must work at least 1,250 in a year and must work for a company or firm that employs at least 50 people.