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Can I be laid off for caring for a relative (FMLA?)

New York, NY |

After being told by my employer's HR (in NYC) I had FMLA to care for a relative, having my relative's physicians complet and ret'n their FMLA forms, weeks later they now send a letter saying they will terminate employment unless I ret'n next week In this same letter, they now claim they were 'in error' when they had originally written that I was FMLA eligible and that they graciously let me go ahead and have the time away anyway. This is supposedly an 'at will' arrangement with a large employer in NYC.

For the sake of argument, assume that some minimum amt of time had not been put in during the previous 12 mos making the employee 'ineligible' to receive this. Also that the employee decides against ret'g to work because of his/her personal committment to caring for his/her family member and his/her employment is there eligibility for U.I.?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Employers cannot retaliate against you for taking FMLA leave to care for a relative. There may also be an associational discrimination claim. I suggest speaking with an employment lawyer immediately.

  2. You need to ask what was the error. Ask them why are you not on FMLA, and discuss their reason with an attorney?

  3. Whether or not you are eligible for FMLA leave depends on factors such as how many employees the employer employs at a location, how many hours you worked for that employer, the nature of your relative's condition, the nature of the documents submitted regarding your relative's condition, and your communications with the employer regarding the requested leave. I recommend consulting with an employment lawyer such as myself.

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