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Can you be fired for using too many fmla hours?

Orlando, FL |

I had fmla approved for the birth of my baby. I had 1 year approved (480 hours) of bonding time. I was not told that the maternity leave AND fmla were the same thing. I was told that the maternity leave was separate. I started using FMLA in August. Just 1 week ago my employer went back and calculated my fmla hours and told me that my fmla ran out in December , so any time missed from December to March (and going forward) will count as absences. My company uses a point system. We are allowed 12 points total then are terminated. Because I wasn't advised my fmla ran out I have 38 points! It will take me 4 and a half years to get under 12 points. This does not seem right to me. Should I do anything?

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Attorney answers 2


You must have had something other than FMLA or you have something additional in an employment contract. FMLA only entitles you to 12 weeks of leave.

The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. Eligible employees are entitled to:

Twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for:

1. the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;
2. the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement;
3. to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job;
4. any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty;” or
5. Twenty-six workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the servicemember’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).

Did they already fire you? You should call an attorney that is experienced in FMLA and employment law issues to discuss your case.

Zonald Spinks, Esq. Phone: (813) 413-5352 Fax: (813) 658-5893 Twitter: @ZonaldLaw Skype: Zonaldlaw Disclaimer: legal information is not the same as legal advice -- the application of law to an individual's specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer if you want professional assurance that this information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. This information is not intended as legal advice for an individual situation, it is only provided as information.



I only had fmla. My employer unclear about when my started and ended. They told me almost 3 months later that my fmla had ran out and now I may be terminated. I figured it would be better to get advice before they fire me.


Something sounds wrong with the facts or incomplete. FMLA is for 12 weeks in a rolling 52 week period. You cannot get 1 year of time off under the FMLA. If you got something else, it was under some other benefit plan of the employer. If the employer mis-calculated, you may have some rights. However, in an at-will employment state such as Florida, absent a violation of state or federal law, an employer can pretty much do anything including termination for no reason, any reason, a good or bad reason, or a fair or unfair reason.

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