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4 actions that could violate your FMLA rights

Needing time away from work can make you and many other Rhode Island residents feel uncomfortable. You may have uncertainties about how to go about requesting time off or feel anxious that you could suffer negative repercussions for taking an extended leave. However, certain laws protect you from employer retaliation if you qualify for such protection under the stipulations of the law.

The Family and Medical Leave Act is one law that works to ensure that you maintain your job in the event that you suffer a serious medical issue and need time off. Though this information may bring you some comfort, you may wish to understand that your employer could potentially violate your rights under this law. If you feel that any of the following situations came about, you may have cause to take legal action.

Denied coverage

If you know that your medical situation qualifies you for FMLA leave, your employer should not deny your ability to take that leave. However, some employers may either not fully understand whether the law covers your circumstances and deny for request for leave, or he or she could deny your leave while knowing that the action violates your rights.

Work-related requests

While on FMLA leave, your employer should not ask you to carry out any work-related tasks. Though your absence may result in certain work needing reassignment, your employer should have another employee take on your duties. If he or she requests that you complete tasks while on leave, that request can violate your rights.


After returning from leave, you should have the ability to go back to the same position or one of equal employment stature. If you return to work only to receive lesser pay due to reassignment to a lower-level position, you may have reason to contest this action.

Wrongful termination

One of the most obvious violations of the FMLA relates to completely terminating an employee from his or her position. If you do not have the ability to return to work after your FMLA leave time runs out, your employer should not automatically dismiss you. Additionally, you should not lose your job while still covered under the terms of your FMLA leave.

If you believe that your employer has violated your rights under the FMLA, you may wish to take legal action to rectify the situation. Information on employment law claims could help you better understand what steps may prove most useful to you.

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