The Chicago Employment Law Blog

Family Medical Leave in Chicago

Family is important in Illinois. Many employees are allowed to take extended time away from work to handle certain family or medical matters under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). However, not every employer is required to provide its employees with family or medical leave. FMLA only covers public agencies, private and public elementary and secondary schools, and employers that employ 50 or more workers.

There are constantly new developments and changes in family medical leave laws. If you need advice on an employment law issue, including family medical leave, you should speak with a Chicago employment lawyer.

Recently in Family Medical Leave Category

Do Chicago Employers Have to Provide Sick Leave?

This year's flu season was particularly rough. Chicago's public health department reported 154 flu-related intensive care unit hospitalizations between the end of September 2013 and early February, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Though spring is fast approaching, people are still coming down with the flu, requiring them to take time off from work to recover.

But are employers legally required to provide paid sick leave?

Can Workers Be Fired For Taking Family Leave?

It's the anniversary of the Family Medical Leave Act which entitles eligible employees to unpaid leave should certain personal or family health issues arise.

But can workers be fired for taking family leave? Generally speaking, you can't get fired or demoted for taking FMLA leave.

But if you do get fired, your claim of FMLA retaliation will depend on a number of factors, such as the following:

How to Calculate How Much FMLA Leave You Have Left

Calculating how much FMLA leave you have left can be extremely difficult.

While the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) generally provides that eligible employees may receive 12 workweeks of leave during a 12-month period for qualifying reasons, there are still plenty of questions as to just what this means.

Here are some general guidelines.

4 Employee Protections Under FMLA

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) does not provide for paid time off. However, there are plenty of other employee protections under the Act.

Generally, the FMLA gives eligible employees up to 12 workweeks of leave during a 12-month period for certain family and medical reasons. Here are the benefits of taking FMLA leave:

What Is a Serious Health Condition for FMLA Leave?

If you are looking to take FMLA leave for a medical reason, you will need to know what a serious health condition means.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) does not allow eligible employees to take time off for just any health reason. Instead, your condition, or that of a family member, must be serious enough to warrant protection under the FMLA.

FMLA Overview: Rights and Responsibilities

There is perhaps no body of employment law more misunderstood than the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). As a result, an overview of the FMLA, which provides unpaid leave for eligible employees, may be in order.

Covered Employers

Not every employer has to provide FMLA leave. In fact, only private sector employers that employ 50 or more employees generally have to provide such leave.

Dillard's Settles Nationwide Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

National department store chain Dillard’s, which has three locations in Illinois, will pay $2 million and undergo significant changes to their policies regarding disabled and sick leave policies. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which brought the suit on behalf of Corina Scott, a former California employee, and an unknown number of others that may have been affected by Dillard’s policies, Dillard’s policies regarding disability leave violated a number of provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Beginning in 2005, Dillard’s adopted a new policy regarding sick leave that required employees to disclose their exact medical condition in order to be approved for leave - even if they had a doctor’s note. Those who took leave without providing specifics were terminated.

Oh, Oh, No O'Reilly! Auto Parts Store Sued by Disabled Ex-Manager

O'Reilly Automotive Stores found itself in court last week, after the EEOC filed its third of three major employment discrimination lawsuits on one fateful Friday. The lawsuit alleges that the O'Reilly Auto Parts store in Beloit, Wis., fired its manager after refusing him time off to deal with a medical impairment.

The facts, as alleged by the EEOC, portray what might be a textbook example of a reasonable accommodation request by an employee. Heath Craft, the former manager of the Beloit branch, was diagnosed with a seizure disorder in February 2011. When he requested a month's leave to deal with the disorder, the company not only denied the request, but fired him on March 31, 2011.

FindLaw Guide to FMLA: Going Gets Tough, You Get Leave (Maybe)

It's a common concern for those stricken with severe illness or blessed with oncoming offspring: What's going to happen with my job?

It's understandable, especially in this economy, to worry about job security. This is especially true when your doctor has informed you that you'll need to take time off for either your unexpected medical condition or the illness of a family member.

The good news is that the law, and FindLaw, have got you covered. The FindLaw Guide to The Family and Medical Leave Act has information on the law's coverage, requirements, and benefits. It's a great place to start for both employees that might need leave and employers that might have to provide it.

SAD Teacher Wins Appeal of ADA Case, Keeps Judgment

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a recurrent type of depression that happens at a certain time of the year for the affected person. It usually occurs during the winter, and is often treated by the use of special lamps or sunlight. It is thought that the depression is caused by a lack of exposure to sunlight and special lamps can recreate the benefits of sunlight.

Renae Ekstrand first noticed that she suffered from the disorder in 2005. Ekstrand taught first grade in a classroom that lacked windows. After experiencing the seasonal depression, and consulting with a physician, Ekstrand requested that the school give her a different classroom. Instead of making such a reasonable accommodation, they merely made attempts to make the room "more hospitable."