FMLA Violations by Employers: Recent Examples

fmla violations by employers

FMLA Violations by Employers

FMLA violations by employers can occur in many forms, whether intentional or unintentional, and missteps are understandable. The FMLA is a complex  legislation that can be a compliance minefield for employers, especially those without an expert on staff. Without the help of a trusted compliance partner, employers often misinterpret the FMLA which results in violations, lawsuits, and devastating financial penalties and settlements. Below, we will cover two common examples of FMLA violations by employers to show just how easy it is to make a costly mistake.


An employer in New York must face a retaliation lawsuit claim from a former employee after allegedly holding the employee’s use of FMLA against her. After taking leave afforded in the FMLA to care for her son, who was diagnosed with brain cancer, the employee’s boss began demonstrating retaliatory behavior by denying use of flexible scheduling, sabbatical leave, and more. The employer eventually terminated the employee, which may be considered an adverse employment decision constituting a violation. The Eastern District of New York ruled that the retaliation lawsuit may proceed, leaving the employer potentially liable for a large settlement ruling.

Misapplication of New Legislation

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about additional responsibilities and requirements for employers regarding employee leave, including the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) with the addition of Emergency FMLA (EFMLA). Employers must properly apply not only the FMLA, but EFMLA until the legislation expires. Failure to do so will result in more violations and lawsuits. In February 2021, a New Jersey woman who requested EFMLA leave was eventually denied her rights and terminated. She also alleged that the employer did not provide an explanation of her rights under the new legislation. The employer must now participate in a lawsuit that could result in a huge financial payout.

BASIC FMLA Administration Can Help

The FMLA, combined with supplemental federal leave legislation, can be a lawsuit waiting to happen for many employers around the country. Additionally, when considering that many states have their own additional leave laws, accurate FMLA administration can seem nearly impossible. Thankfully, employers across the country can work with BASIC to stay free of costly fines and lawsuits. BASIC offers consistent and correct administration of FMLA laws, including EFMLA and state provisions. Our proven FMLA service model has made us a nationwide leader in FMLA outsourcing for employers as small as 50 employees to as large as 15,000 employees. See how BASIC can assist with tracking, applicable paperwork, claims processing, determination letters, and more. Request a no-cost proposal today.