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Family Medical Leave Act (re-post from 2007 entry)

Many people have a vague familiarity with the Family and Medical Leave Act. It is an important and useful tool that many employees can take advantage of, and something that is often overlooked by employees. I wanted to share with you the basics of FMLA. Feel free to share this information with friends or family members. Most of us will have a need sometime in our lives to use this mechanism of protecting our job.

Family Medical Leave Act
Image Source: pexels/Andrea Piacquadio

FMLA provides employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a calendar year, with job protection. All public employers of any size are covered under FMLA, and private employers with 50 or more employees. Employer must be “engaged in commerce or an industry or activity affecting commerce.” 29 U.S.C. Section 2611 (4) (A) (i). (very broad language used here)

What employees are eligible? Anyone who has worked at least 1250 hours during the preceding 12 months, and who has been employed for at least 1 year prior to the date leave is requested.

What types of leave are covered under FMLA? Birth of employee’s son or daughter; Placement of child for adoption or foster care; To care for close family member with “serious health condition”; If employee suffers from “serious health condition” which renders employee incapacitated from performance. For what constitutes a serious health condition, see below.

What type of notice must be given? If the leave is foreseeable, employee must give 30 days notice. If leave is not foreseeable, employee must provide notice “as soon as practicable” under the circumstances. Also, notice under FMLA does NOT have to be in writing, nor does it have to mention FMLA. This will surprise many people. Request only requires an employee to give notice of need for leave which may constitute FMLA eligibility. However, I advise my clients to make the request in writing and to mention FMLA. Why beat around the bush?

What are types of conditions that courts have upheld as being “serious health conditions”? Well, as you could have guessed, it must be serious- chicken pox, asthma, pregnancy related issues that impact ability to perform job function, etc. Indeed, this analysis is done on an ad hoc basis, and therefore depends on the individual circumstances.

What job is protected? The same or similar job you had prior to requesting the leave. To be more technical, “An equivalent position with equivalent employment benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment”.

Can an employer retaliate? No. Employer cannot “interfere with, restrain, or deny” employee’s right to exercise rights under FMLA.

If I receive workers’ compensation benefits for a work-related injury, can my employer also count my time out of work as FMLA time as well? Yes, if they provide you with written notice. This generally does not happen, but it may if certain requirements are met.

Is my job protected simply by my receipt of workers’ compensation benefits? No. And this is an important distinction between work comp leave and FMLA. If you are injured at work, the employer has no obligation to protect your job. However, with FMLA- assuming you meet the requirements, your job is protected. Now, an employer cannot fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, but they can couch your firing in other terms- such as “lack of work”, “excessive absence”, etc. So, an employer cannot retaliate against an employee for filing a work comp claim, but unless the employee has a contract that says otherwise, an employer can fire you for just about any other reason so long as it’s not in violation of public policy (ie, discriminatory).

I hope this summary has been helpful. Feel free to email me at Michael@Cardamonelaw.com should you have any questions. Or call 215-206-9068

-Michael W. Cardamone, Esq.

PA Work Comp Lawyer

Awards & Recognitions

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Cardamone Law Has Negotiated Some of the Largest Workers’ Comp Settlements in Pennsylvania

$6 Million
We Assisted Another Firm in Reaching Settlement
$2.2 Million
Spinal Injury
$897,000
Lower Back Injury
$650,000
Lower Back Injury
$550,000
Neck Injury
$425,000
Leg Injury
$375,000
Knee Injury
$325,000
Ankle Injury
$6 Million
We Assisted Another Firm in Reaching Settlement
$2.2 Million
Spinal Injury
$897,000
Lower Back Injury
$650,000
Lower Back Injury
$550,000
Neck Injury
$425,000
Leg Injury
$375,000
Knee Injury
$325,000
Ankle Injury

Client Testimonials

"Thank you from the bottom of my heart Mike and Shirley!!"

I called Shirley when I was scared and didn’t know what where my next dime was coming from after I was out with my work injury. Shirley was very kind and helpful guiding me every single step of the way. Mike was not your typical lawyer was not pushy but very responsive to all my gazillion questions. He helped me get my settlement quickly and settlement check in a very timely manner. Would recommend them to anyone! Mike helped calm all my fears and anxieties as I was trying to navigate one of the hardest and most stressful times in my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Mike and Shirley!!

- Jen Thompson
Google Reviews
"Tienes un equipo impresionante a pesar de ser una compañía pequeña, los resultados fueron excelentes!"

Yo le daría 10 estrellas en vez de 5 , Michael Cardamone es una persona genuina y un gran abogado, al principio de mi caso, yo estaba en la oscuridad y no sabia que pasos tendría que seguir porque Workers comp ,solo me cubría en esos momentos los beneficios medicos .Después, me eliminaron el puesto , no sabia como manejar mi situación (estaba con una cirugía y también sin trabajo,) grasias a Mike, el me dirigió por el camino correcto, me dieron una muy buena cantidad por mi caso. El fue muy comprensivo porque le hice muchas preguntas por email y siempre me las contesto a tiempo, brindando seguridad ,sabia que estaba en las manos correctas! Shirley y Francisco también fueron de gran ayuda con los recordatorios y servicios de traducción en Español. tienes un equipo impresionante a pesar de ser una compañía pequeña, los resultados fueron excelentes! se los recomiendo a todos. Muchas grasias Cardamone law!

- Marisol Rodriguez
Google Reviews
"Best Law Firm around!"

"Cardomone law is absolutely fantastic! They are very responsive and helpful and they will fight to get you what you deserve. Shirley is also very helpful whenever you have any questions! Best Law Firm around!"

- C. Edwards
Google Reviews
"Michael and Shirley are very dedicated...and getting the maximum amount favorable to my case"

"Cardamone Law Firm were very helpful to me since day one. Michael and Shirley are very dedicated to my case giving me updates, answering my questions, being honest with my case, and getting the maximum amount favorable to my case. Thank you so much for your service and dedication and helping me to achieve not only your case but to guide and refer me in other needs too! You guys are the best law firm friendly and dedicated. I will recommend to anyone."

- A. Ortiz
Google Reviews
"Michael won my workers comp case after my employer insurance denied my claim."

"Exceptional firm. Highly recommend this law firm. Michael won my Workers Comp case after my employer insurance denied my claim. Him and his staff were always at my reach for legal and emotional support. Am so happy I hire them. Thanks Michael and Ms. Shirley."

- Carlos P.
Google Reviews
"[They] did an excellent job in getting me financially compensated in a fairly short amount of time."

"I recently had a work related injury and was receiving Workers' Compensation (medical benefits only). Soon after I was fired, so I contacted Paul Silver at Cardamone Law Firm who did an excellent job in getting me financially compensated in a fairly short amount of time. Paul and his assistant Shirley always responded to any questions I had about the case in a very short amount of time. Thank you for helping me with this difficult case."

- Robin C.
Google Reviews
"Highly recommend."

"Cardamone Law was great with helping my husband with his Workers Comp issues. Mike and Shirley were the best with letting us know what was going on every step of the way. Highly recommend."

- Danielle P.
Google Reviews
"Mike Cardamone is amazing"

"Mike Cardamone is amazing. He is "hands down" one of the best lawyers I've ever had the privilege of knowing. He is very kind, understanding, knowledgeable in his field, always very thorough and helpful. He was extremely professional and someone who truly cares about his clients. I felt completely at ease with him. He was a pleasure to work with, explained everything in detail, as well as answered all my questions with knowledge and care. If you want someone you can trust, who communicates every step of the way, will fight for you and make sure you win your case, he is it! I will refer all my family and friends to him. Thank you so much Mike, for everything. I appreciate all your hard work and dedication in helping me."

- Allie M.
Google Reviews
Without a doubt YOU are the best!!!

"Without a doubt YOU are the best!!! Every person who is in the horrible position of being injured at work should have someone as kind, compassionate and knowledgeable as you on their side. You never once made me feel like I was one of a hundred other clients. I always knew you had my back! You answered calls and emails at all hours. You fought every fight for me so I only had to worry about getting well. Behind your nice, calm face there’s a pit bull ready to take on any employer or judge. I can never thank you enough."

- L. Edall
Google Reviews
"Best Workers' Comp Lawyer!"

"Michael is simply the best! He was there for me from day 1 till the end, and we won the case!! He is always available to help. I had a gazillion questions and he would answer them one by one. He's a great lawyer and I feel lucky to have found him online from reading other outstanding reviews about him. Believe me, they're true!"

- Faith B.
Google Reviews
"Great Attorney"

"Great attorney, handled case quickly and efficiently. I would recommend him and would use him again. He was always available to answer any questions we had. Thank you, Mr. Cardamone."

- H. Anderson
Google Reviews