An Attorney Can Defend Your Rights under the FMLA
What Is Intermittent FMLA Leave?
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid medical leave a year. Since Texas has no maternity leave laws, many new mothers and fathers use this leave all at once after the birth of a child. However, the law also allows employees to use their 12 weeks intermittently. This is often necessary for employees who have or develop a serious health condition, or who must care for an ill family member. To schedule a free case review, please call our office at (214) 383-3606 or send us a message online.
Know Your Rights
Employees who ask for intermittent FMLA leave or a reduced schedule receive the same protections as those who take the leave all at once. This includes continuing healthcare coverage and the ability to return to the same job or an equivalent position. Many employees in Texas qualify for FMLA leave, which means that your employer cannot deny you the right to take unpaid time off work.
If you have questions about your eligibility or believe your employer violated your rights, then FMLA attorney Dan A. Atkerson can answer them in a free initial consultation. For more than three decades, our law firm has been helping Texas employees get the leave and fair treatment they deserve.
Peace of Mind
Dan Atkerson got my case settled and gave me peace of mind! He answered all my questions anytime I asked, even late at night a couple of times. He is very considerate and empathetic and always kept me informed. Suzanne K.
Am I Eligible for Intermittent Leave?
To qualify for intermittent leave, your job must meet FMLA guidelines for employee eligibility. You must:
- Have been an employee for at least a year.
- Have logged at least 1,250 hours of work during the year prior to taking leave.
- Work at a company with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.
If you meet these requirements, then you are entitled to take up to a total of 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a year-long period. However, you must have a legitimate reason for taking this leave, such as:
- A serious health condition
- Caring for an immediate relative with a serious health condition.
- The birth of a child.
- Caring for a newborn or newly-placed foster or adoptive child.
What Counts As a Serious Health Condition?
You may take leave for the treatment of a serious health condition or to prevent the development of such a condition. According to FMLA guidelines, a serious health condition is any physical or mental illness, injury or impairment that:
- Requires inpatient hospital care.
- Requires or will require more than three consecutive days of medical absence.
- Is a doctor-certified chronic serious illness or condition.
Professional, Reliable, and Knowledgeable
Mr. Dan Atkerson has been extremely helpful in my case, he has kept up and informed me every step of the way and as the result I was very satisfied for the outcome. I highly recommend him and also have recommended him with other people that was seeking legal counsel. Dan is professional, reliable and knowledgeable. Mara E.
How Intermittent FML Leave Works
Intermittent leave allows you to take as little as an hour of leave a week to receive treatment, which your employer cannot refuse. However, special restrictions may apply if you wish to take intermittent maternity leave. Generally, you must get approval from your employer if you wish to continue working part-time while on maternity leave.
You must be allowed to return to your position or a position with equivalent pay and benefits. Your employer cannot fire, demote or otherwise discriminate against you due to your need for intermittent leave.
Generally, you can take your intermittent FMLA leave in whatever increments your condition requires. For some, this may be as little as an hour or two a week. However, there are certain limitations:
- The total time you take cannot exceed 12 weeks within a 12-month period.
- You must notify your employer 30 days prior to starting your leave, or as soon as reasonably possible.
- You must still work a total of 1,250 hours a year to continue to qualify for leave.
- Your employer also can require you to use your paid vacation and/or sick days concurrently with your FMLA leave.
Reasonable Employer Requests
If you would like to exercise your right to intermittent leave for a serious health condition, your own or for an immediate family member, then your employer may require medical certification. This means that your physician must provide written proof of your diagnosis and treatment needs. According to FMLA guidelines, you have 15 days to provide this certification after requesting leave.
Additionally, your employer can require that you get a second opinion about your condition. In this case, your employer may specify the medical facility or physician you see but must also cover the cost. However, your employer cannot require certification for every doctor’s visit or period of treatment for which you need leave.
Questions About FMLA Guidelines?
If you believe your employer wrongfully denied your FMLA leave or otherwise violated your rights, contact Allen employment lawyer Dan A. Atkerson. He can explain your rights according to the Family and Medical Leave Act and help you determine whether your employer acted illegally. Standing up to your employer can be intimidating, especially if you still work for the company or business. However, you can protect your rights as well as the rights of your fellow employees and keep your job.
Contact a Texas Employment Attorney
Our law firm represents clients throughout North Texas, including residents of Frisco, Richardson and Plano as well as the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Call our office in Allen or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.