FMLA Rights and Violations

Caring for Yourself or Your Family

Employees covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may take unpaid job-protected time away from work due to their own serious health condition, a family member’s serious health condition, or the arrival of a newborn or adopted child. FMLA applies to most employers who have employed 50 or more employees within 75 miles during 20 or more workweeks within the current or preceding calendar year.

Covered employees include those who have worked for an employer for at least 12 months and who have worked at least 1250 hours within the past 12 months.  These employees may qualify for up to 12 weeks of leave. Sometimes, FMLA leave can be taken on an intermittent basis - even for just minutes or hours at a time to attend activities such as medical or therapeutic appointments.

Examples of Unlawful Employer Conduct

  • Failing to offer FMLA benefits
  • Interfering, restraining, or preventing employees from exercising FMLA rights
  • Denying FMLA benefits to a qualified employee
  • Discouraging an employee from using FMLA leave
  • Manipulating an employee's work hours to avoid responsibilities under the FMLA
  • Disciplining or failing to promote an employee for requesting or using FMLA leave
  • Counting FMLA leave as an absence under a "no fault" attendance policy
  • Retaliation for requesting or taking FMLA leave
  • Retaliation for opposing an unlawful employer FMLA practice
  • Retaliation for participating in a proceeding related to the FMLA


It is also unlawful to punish an employee for exercising FMLA rights or complaining about FMLA interference or retaliation to the employer or opposing such misconduct against another employee.  FMLA further prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for complaining about discrimination charge, testifying or participating in an investigation about FMLA violations, assisting in a proceeding or lawsuit, or opposing employment practices that an employee reasonably believes discriminate or retaliate against another individual in violation of the law.  Retaliation includes adverse actions such as demotions, disciplinary actions, terminations, and other forms of punishment that tend to dissuade employees from complaining about discrimination.

There are strict deadlines that apply to filing claims for FMLA violations. If you’ve been subjected to unlawful employer conduct, contact Rich Daugherty immediately. Rich is experienced in representing individuals with regard to their rights under the FMLA.

If you’ve experienced FMLA discriminationretaliation, or interference, contact Rich Daugherty.  Whether your employment has been wrongfully terminated, you’re in fear of losing your job unlawfully, or you’re stuck in an untenable situation, contact Rich.

In addition to litigating cases, Rich negotiates confidential severance agreements and executive exit agreements favorable to his clients.

Rich offers a one-on-one relationship with his clients. He will stand by your side every step of the way to resolve your case fairly.

Rich represents clients from across North Carolina, including Raleigh, Durham, Wilmington, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, and more. He is available to meet with prospective clients outside of Chapel Hill when circumstances permit. Evening appointments are also available.

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