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DOL said EEOC could handle the FMLA violation as part of my discrimination charge, is that correct?

Fort Lauderdale, FL |

I made an ADA request to my employer, they denied it the next day, I offered back reasons why the accommodation could be made and they still said no, despite other employees having what I was requesting. I was in the midst of a flare up of my condition and took one week FMLA to recover fully. Aside from them giving me a hard time turning in my paperwork, upon my return after only one week my job responsibilities were taken away and I was being monitored. I complained to HR saying I felt I was being retaliated against for asking for ADA and FMLA. I was fired two days later. I have an EEOC charge filed for the ADA request denial, I called the DOL about the FMLA violation and they stated it would all be handled by EEOC. Is that true? This all occurred in March 2012, am I too late for DOL?

My EEOC charge was filed March 2012, it's with an investigator whom I spoken with as recently as Feb 2013, investigation has not begun. I am in process of interviewing/selecting an lawyer.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Technically, the EEOC does not enforce the FMLA, but ADA and FMLA claims are often intertwined. I've seen the EEOC get into FMLA issues.

    The statute of limitations for an FMLA claim is two years. I suggest that you wait until you have a local lawyer on board before you decide whether to press matters with the Department of Labor. Your lawyer may decide that you should just go ahead and get a right to sue letter from the EEOC and then bring a private lawsuit with ADA and FMLA claims, rather than bothering with the (non-mandatory) administrative process with the Department of Labor.

  2. David is correct. You are required to file the Charge before suing under the ADA, but you are not required to file with the DOL before pursuing a suit under the FMLA. Your counsel will want to bring both claims in the same lawsuit. Just make sure the statute of limitations on the FMLA claim is not blown. We can assist you if you wish.

  3. The EEOC has discretionary jurisdiction to review your FMLA claim. Your best choice is to retain an attorney to represent you in your FMLA claim which has no pre-suit administrative requirements. Once the government finishes its investigation, you may join that claim with your FMLA claim or proceed with it on its own. It also sounds like you may have additional claims and you would benefit from legal advise from an attorney in this area of the law.

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