When are you entitled to a leave of absence or time off due to a medical issue or to care for a family member? When can your employer deny your request for a leave of absence? These are often complicated questions Virginia employees face in the workplace.
Protecting Virginia Employees
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualifying employees. For example, the law may require the employer to provide you a leave of absence, light-duty work, a closer parking space, a different work schedule, or additional break time. Companies are not permitted to discriminate against employees because of a disability or because they perceive the employee as being disabled. Whether your employer is required to provide you a leave of absence under the ADA is a context-specific, and often complicated question. “Disability” is a broad term designed to encompass a large number of conditions. For employees located in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and throughout Virginia, the term “Disability” can also include temporary impairments, such as an injured knee or back.
Leaves of Absence Under the FMLA
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers to provide its employees up to 12 weeks of medical leave to attend to a serious medical condition or to care for a close relative who has a serious medical condition. The FMLA places strict requirements on companies when dealing with employees who qualify for FMLA time. However, employers are not always willing to comply with the law.
If the employee does not qualify for FMLA leave, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may require a company to grant an employee a leave of absence. For example, employees may be entitled to a leave of absence under the ADA for a wide range of medical conditions, including mental illnesses and emotional disorders, such as anxiety.
If your company has denied a leave of absence for a physical or mental illness, or if you have been fired, demoted, or otherwise retaliated against for taking a leave of absence, you should contact an employment law attorney from our firm. Your employment rights may have been violated, and you may have a claim against your employer.
Contact The Labor and Employment division of Pierce / McCoy
Call 757-624-9323 or complete our online contact form to discuss your claim