Connecticut FMLA Lawyers

You are more than just a worker, and there may be times that your own health or the health of someone in your family has to come before your job.  That is where the Family and Medical Leave Act (or FMLA) comes in.  The FMLA allows qualifying employees to take unpaid leave to care for their own or a close family member’s serious health condition without fear of losing their job.

Sadly, your employer might not respect your rights under the FMLA.  The employer might discourage you from taking FMLA leave or might punish you for having taken it.  If that happens to you, then you need to contact the Connecticut FMLA lawyers at Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, P.C.

What Is the FMLA?

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide workers with 12 weeks of unpaid leave for qualifying medical or family reasons without risk of losing their job.  Since it was signed into law in 1993, the FMLA has helped thousands of American workers balance their jobs with their family obligations.

Connecticut has its own version of the FMLA.  If you work in Connecticut, you are covered by the federal FMLA, but you also may be covered by the Connecticut FMLA.  If your company employs 75 or more people within a 75-mile radius, and you have worked 1,000 or more hours during the previous 12 months, then you can take up to 16 weeks of FMLA leave during a two-year period.

Importantly, under both federal and Connecticut law, FMLA leave does not need to be consecutive.  Instead, it can be “intermittent.”  This means you can spread your 12 or 16 weeks of leave out, taking the leave only when you need it.

While an employee is out on FMLA leave, the employer must continue to provide health insurance on the same terms as when the employee was working.  And when the employee returns from FMLA leave, the employer must return the employee to the same job position, with the same seniority and benefits.

What Medical Conditions Qualify for FMLA Leave?

Not all medical conditions are covered by the FMLA.  You do not take FMLA leave for a cold.  In order to take FMLA leave, you or an immediate family member – your spouse, child, or parent – must have a “serious health condition.”  That means an illness, injury, or condition that involves hospitalization or that involves continuing treatment by a healthcare provider.  It generally requires three consecutive days of incapacity.  The FMLA also applies to the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of the employee’s child.

How Employers Violate the FMLA

Employers violate the FMLA is a variety of ways.

Some violations are quite technical.  For example, employers may not be aware that they are required to provide employees with a series of notices of their FMLA rights.  If the employer fails to provide the requisite notice, that is an FMLA violation.

Employers also violate the FMLA by failing to honor employees’ requests for it.  You do not need to use the term “FMLA” to request leave.  There are no magic words.  An employee’s request for leave is triggered when an eligible employee requests time off for a qualified purpose.  If the employer knows that the employee is eligible and has requested leave, the employer must provide information about the FMLA.  Failing to do so is a violation of the law.

Other violations are more sinister.  For example, in the case of DeAngelo v. Yellowbook, Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti represented a salesman who was battling cancer.  Rather than provide the employee with the support he needed, the employer increased his sales quotas and then terminated him for breaking a rule that many other employees routinely broke without any consequences.  That was unlawful FMLA retaliation.

How Our Connecticut FMLA Lawyers Can Help

 If you believe that you are entitled to FMLA leave and your employer has either refused or interfered with your legal rights, it’s time to take action.  Our Connecticut FMLA attorneys have been protecting the rights of employees throughout the State for more than 40 years.  We have been recognized by our peers and a number of legal organizations for our skill and expertise.  We work as a team to give you the best possible representation.  We have taken on almost every large employer in the State of Connecticut, and we are not afraid to stand up for you.

If your Connecticut employer is violating your FMLA rights, please contact Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti now for a confidential evaluation of your case.

Let Us Review Your Case

We will respond to your message promptly. Although we will keep your message strictly confidential, please note that contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.

You deserve justice. We are here to fight for you.

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Client Experiences

During a very difficult employment situation, I was referred to Joe Garrison. Recognizing the volatile and time sensitive nature of my employment situation, Mr. Garrison met with me immediately (on the weekend no less). He listened to the details of my case, was able to think through possible creative solutions to offer the employer, and was responsive to my myriad of questions. He understood my concerns about litigation versus settlement, and he worked to find the best resolution possible. I am grateful to have had his support at a very difficult time. —J.C., New Haven, CT

Ethan Levin-Epstein represented me during a most painful and challenging crisis in my personal and professional life. Seeing me within 24 hours of being referred, his support and advocacy, wisdom and clarity not only resulted in a favorable negotiated outcome for me and for my family, but gave me peace of mind and the courage to recover. I am very grateful to have met Ethan and his team and would refer anyone in need to this haven. — C.L., Guilford, CT

You will never meet a more knowledgeable and compassionate professional than Steve Fitzgerald. My employment situation was very complex, and Attorney Fitzgerald kept me focused while remaining extremely adept and “thinking on his feet.” Should the need present itself again, I would never seek anyone else’s counsel regarding employment issues. I cannot recommend him highly enough. — J.R., New Haven, CT

Nina Pirrotti provided outstanding legal advice and was trustworthy, dependable, and responsive. From the start, I was confident that her knowledge and experience would obtain favorable results. On a more personal note, I enjoyed working with her and her staff and felt I was included in every part of the process. The dedication, concern, and interest in me as a client was greatly appreciated, and Nina has earned my highest recommendation. — J.H., Monroe, CT

I recently found myself in need of a lawyer in handling a dispute with my former employer. I was fortunate to retain Josh Goodbaum as my legal counsel. His legal skills knowledge and professionalism shone through in every step of the process resulting in a very positive result. I highly recommend Josh if you find yourself in need of legal counsel. — S.R., Guilford, CT

When I go to a lawyer for advice, I am usually anxious, particularly the first meeting. Amanda DeMatteis was clear in describing my options and immediately set me at ease. Realistic assessment is important, and Amanda was clear as to how to set up the case and the direction she felt we should go. I had total confidence in her abilities and knew I was being well represented against a large corporation. More importantly, we were successful! —N.M., Haddam, CT

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