When you take leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, you should be able to focus on the reason for your leave. Whether it’s to bond with a new baby or care for a sick family member, your attention should be on that and not your job.
Undoubtedly, going back to work can be an overwhelming transition. While you may have a lot on your mind, one thing you should be wary of is potential violations of your rights upon returning from FMLA leave.
What to expect upon your return
Upon returning from FMLA leave, an employee will commonly:
- Meet with their supervisor
- Have some time to get up to speed on what happened during their absence
- Participate in meetings and check-ins with colleagues
- Gradually increase taking over their responsibilities
These measures can make it easier for a person to reintegrate into the workplace and get back on their feet.
What you should not have to contend with
Unfortunately, not every employee experiences a smooth transition when returning from FMLA leave.
Some examples of FMLA violations that can occur upon a person’s return to work include:
- Being placed in a lower-paying job
- Losing benefits
- Experiencing retaliatory acts, such as a negative performance evaluation based on taking leave
- Being the target of harassing actions or comments
- Having to answer personal, intrusive questions about your leave
Acts such as these can interfere with an employee’s willingness and ability to take FMLA leave and are prohibited by law.
Protecting your rights after FMLA leave
No matter what your reason is for taking job-protected leave, you should be able to take it knowing you can focus on your family or medical issue. If your employer or another party compromises this, understand that legal avenues exist to protect your rights.