So many times when someone leaves their employment to take FMLA leave, they experience problems with reinstatement to their job when they return. They may be shuffled into a position that hardly compares to the job they left, sometimes receiving a reduction in pay and benefits, a change in hours or shift, and even a new duty location requiring extensive travel.
While a company does not have to reinstate you to the same position following FMLA leave, they must give you an equivalent position nearly identical in terms of pay, benefits and other working conditions in addition to being substantially similar in duties, responsibilities, privileges and level of skill required.
If you think your employer is violating FMLA rules regarding reinstatement, consider the following:
~ Is the pay the same or more? The wage should be the at least what you were earning prior to taking FMLA leave.
~ Are vacation, sick days, health insurance and similar benefits the same?
~ Are your work hours the same or similar? Do you have the same number of hours per week, the same shift, and a similar schedule? If you are relegated to third shift weekends when you use to work 9 to 5 weekdays, your employer may be in violation of FMLA rules.
~ Are the job duties of the two positions the same or very similar?
~ Is the new position located at the same work site or at a nearby work site? Traveling great distances to keep your job may be a violation of FMLA law.
~ Did your employer reinstate you in a timely manner? If you notified your employer in advance of your return date, your employer must reinstate you on that date. If you discover you can return earlier than anticipated, your employer has two business days to reinstate you. If your employer is stringing you along, remember that the FMLA sets deadlines by which your employer must reinstate you.
Have Your Rights Under FMLA Leave Been Interfered With?
If you are being retaliated against after taking FMLA leave, you are not alone. Fortunately, you have the law on your side. Contact the employment law offices of Marc Humphrey for help if your employer has interfered with your rights under FMLA or has retaliated against you for taking leave at 515-331-3510.