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Retaliation for Taking FMLA Leave

September 25, 2020 Family and Medical Leave Act Claims

Don’t Let Your Employer Get Away With It

Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees working at qualifying companies have the right to take as many as 12 weeks of unpaid leave to deal with a major health issue or care for a family member.

This leave is job-protected. That means that at the end of the 12-week period, your employer must have your job waiting for you—or an equivalent one with the same hours, pay, benefits, and core responsibilities. Your health insurance should continue uninterrupted throughout your leave, too.

That’s what the law requires. But sometimes employers try to discourage employees from taking legally permitted FMLA leave—or punish you after the fact. Here’s how to tell if your employer is retaliating against you for taking FMLA leave.

What Retaliation Looks Like 

Under the law, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees for taking legally protected leave. That includes FMLA leave.

Retaliation is any action that negatively impacts your job, and it can take many forms. Some examples include:

  • Firing you because you took FMLA leave
  • Refusing to hire you because you took FMLA leave at your previous job
  • Demoting you after you return from leave
  • Opting not to promote you for a position you’re qualified for
  • Depriving you of benefits, such as retirement matching or insurance coverage
  • Taking away job duties unrelated to your health condition
  • Removing opportunities for you to participate in career development
  • Isolating you, such as by leaving you out of important meetings or physically moving your workstation away from others
  • The “suddenly incompetent” gambit—where your supervisor closely watches you and nitpicks your job performance, where previously they had no complaints
  • Creating a hostile workplace through abusive behavior or speech

What Should You Do If Your Employer Has Retaliated Against You? 

If you believe your employer has retaliated against you for taking leave you’re entitled to take under FMLA rules, then you should talk to a qualified employment lawyer.

A knowledgeable employment lawyer can help hold your employer accountable. They can assess your situation, help document your case, and stand up for your rights in court.

Call us at 267-273-1054 or email us at for a free, confidential consultation today.

The information provided here does not constitute legal advice. It is intended for general purposes only. If you have questions about a specific legal issue, you should speak to an attorney.