Employers who hire 50 or more people and those who hire educators or government workers must carefully follow the Family and Medical Leave Act or face costly consequences. Employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave and a year of having their job protected. Employers in Florida will want to follow the law because not doing so can result in the employer needing to pay a civil monetary penalty under employment and labor law. There are several ways that employers break the law.
Failure to post a FMLA notice
Employers must post an FMLA notice where employees and applicants will see it. The notice must include a definition of a severe health condition, explain the military family leave entitlements and outline employer and employee responsibilities.
Not giving employees written information on FMLA
The employer must provide each employee with written FMLA information on the benefits that they are entitled to under FMLA. Usually, employers offer this information in their employee handbooks. However, if the company does not do a manual, an employee must be notified in writing as soon as they are hired.
Not acting on FMLA requests promptly
Generally, employers have five days after an employee requests a leave to approve or deny the leave. If they deny it, they must give the employee at least one reason. When informing the employee that their leave is approved, the employer must tell them if paid leave is being substituted for unpaid leave and if they must submit a fitness-for-duty certification when they return.
Before employees even take their first day of FMLA leave, employers can break the law in several ways resulting in a civil monetary penalty.