Nichiha USA Ordered by Department of Labor to Pay for FMLA Violations

The Family Medical Leave Act provides that an employee can’t lose their job, for at least 12 weeks, if they need to take care of serious medical conditions of family members.  An employee is entitled to this benefit so long as the employer has at least 50 employees and so long as the employee has worked for at least 12 months and 1250 hours for the employer.  An employee may also take intermittent leave, which means that the employee can take the leave a few hours at a time rather than all at once.  It is intermittent FMLA leave that was at issue with Nichiha U.S.A.

Nichiha U.S.A. was ordered to pay a former employee more than $20,000 after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor found the company violated the Family and Medical Leave Act, according to a news release from the department.

The investigation, conducted by the department’s Wage and Hour Division Atlanta District Office, concluded a Nichiha U.S.A. employee at the company’s Macon plant was terminated for taking intermittent leave to care for his mother, who had undergone surgery for a serious health condition, the news release stated.

The company failed to recognize the employee’s situation as an FMLA-qualifying event and fired him for excessive unexcused absences.

The Japanese company manufactures fiber cement products at its Macon plant, and its U.S. headquarters are located in Norcross.

“The Family and Medical Leave Act allows for workplace flexibility by providing eligible employees with the right to take a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period — without the risk of losing their jobs — to provide care for spouses, parents, children or other covered dependents due to serious health conditions,” Janet Campbell, the Wage and Hour Division’s Atlanta district director, stated in the news release.

“The U.S. Department of Labor values families and, as demonstrated by the resolution of this case, we are committed to ensuring that workers receive all the protections they are entitled to under federal labor law.”

If you believe you were denied your rights under the Family Medical Leave Act, feel free to contact Scott M. Behren and the Behren Law Firm.

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