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Jury awards man $100,000 in FMLA lawsuit

As an employee in Indiana, you are generally entitled to take time off work for qualified medical reasons, maternity leave or family reasons and keep your insurance and, in some cases, be paid while away. The Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, gives you the right to, at minimum, unpaid leave and the guarantee that your job will be waiting for you. Every employer’s policy varies. Some can force you to use your sick time or vacation hours during your leave or some may let you keep it.

Whatever the policy, employers have an obligation to stick to it. When they don’t, the victim may need to file suit against them to ensure that they hold up their end of the bargain.

Consider the case of a school district who fired a bus driver who, outside of the job, injured his shoulder and was not able to continue working during his recovery. The district hired the man in 2008 and, by all accounts — including the school district’s — he was a valued employee. After the injury, he showed the school district medical proof from his doctor that his injuries prevented him from working. According to the lawsuit, the school district never advised the employee of his FMLA rights, even after his sick leave had expired.

The jury in the case ruled in favor of the employee, awarding him $100,000 in damages and agreeing the school district violated some of the statues in the FMLA.

If you feel like your FMLA rights have been violated by an employer, an Indiana attorney may be able to help you get the compensation you are entitled to.

Source: clarionledger.com, “School district violated Family and Medical Leave Act,” Jimmie E. Gates, June 11, 2014

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