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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

Posted

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.

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Asker

Posted

So I have 2 years for FMLA but unlike ADA that had to be filed with EEOC first, a FMLA violation does not have to be filed through a DOL process. Thank you so much!

Posted

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.

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Posted

I was employed in Broward county, lived in Miami-Dade, after my termination and denial of unemployment based on their lie for reason of termination I had to move back home, would your office be able to do a phone consultation regarding my case?

Arthur Thomas Schofield

Arthur Thomas Schofield

Posted

We may be able to. Contact my assistant, Renae, who will gather some more details.

Posted

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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Asker

Posted

So far I've been advised my wage damages are most likely not worth the cost to pursue a lawsuit. I found a job with a few months, even though I had to uproot my life and move, etc. Yes potential other damages, but not enough of a guarantee to risk it. I have not been issued a Right to Sue so I have time for other opinions.

Juliana Gonzalez

Juliana Gonzalez

Posted

You don't need a right to sue to pursue a civil action and you definitely don't need one for a claim under the FMLA. How long ago did you file your charge with the EEOC? Also, is there a difference in pay between your current job and your former job? That can be taken into consideration in calculating your damages. There are other issues that can affect (positively or negatively) the damages that you can claim. Don't give up just because an attorney tells you that your damages are not significant enough. Get a second (third and fourth) opinion before making a decision.

Asker

Posted

I filed EEOC in March 2012, so yes by time frame I can request the Right to Sue letter at this time, however, I do not want to request it until I have a plan in place, otherwise I'll wait to see what, if anything, the investigator does...I spoke to him in January because of the move and I wanted to be sure I had not missed any communication sent. He spoke to me for what was longer than expected given he had not opened my investigation and actually had 27 cases ahead of mine, despite not in yet investigating my case, he asked several questions, gave me "to do" item to get prepared (most I already had, but he suggested I get the CD of my unemployment hearing for evidence statement from HR). I do plan on getting more opinions, but I am finding that there is a fee for consults.

Juliana Gonzalez

Juliana Gonzalez

Posted

You should definitely get the recording from your unemployment hearing and do so sooner rather than later, as the recordings are only kept for 6 months. As to fees for consultations, just like me there are several other attorneys who will not charge anything at for an initial consultation with a prospective client to learn more about the case.

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