A Strong Defense Against Family And Medical Leave Act Lawsuits

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) took effect during the Clinton administration, with the goal of balancing work demands with the medical needs of employees and their families. Oregon’s equivalent of the federal FMLA is the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA).

There are distinct and important differences between federal regulations and Oregon regulations under OFLA. If you face legal action from an employee regarding FMLA or OFLA regulations, it is important to work with an attorney who understands these laws and how they protect both employers and employees.

Gordon L. Osaka, P.C., represents businesses in Greater Portland and throughout Oregon in the full spectrum of employment litigation, including wrongful termination disputes.

Understanding FMLA And OFLA Regulations

Both the FMLA and OFLA entitle eligible workers to take unpaid leave for certain listed situations, including, for example, to care for their own serious health condition or to care for family members with a serious health condition. It also allows workers time to “birth and bond” after a child is born, adopted or brought into the family as a foster child.

Most FMLA and OFLA claims are straightforward and easy to approve, but some are suspicious to employers:

  • A worker who faces discipline or termination requests FMLA leave. Should the employer continue with the discipline or grant the request?
  • A worker claims to have a questionable serious health condition.
  • A worker claims to be caregiver for an immediate family member, but you have evidence that the sick person is not part of the immediate family.
  • A worker requests leave the day before a three-day holiday.
  • A worker complains that he was never informed about FMLA rights.
  • An employee takes unpaid leave to care for a relative, but you see a photo of him or her on a boat in the Caribbean.
  • Workers claim a high number of intermittent leaves, making management problematic.
  • Ineligible workers are denied leave, then claim retaliation.
  • A worker takes leave, then calls in and requests leave after the fact.

All these circumstances are suspicious. But employers are not allowed to withhold FMLA rights on the basis of suspicion. FMLA defense lawyer Gordon L. Osaka can compile specific facts and evidence that an employee is not complying with the terms of the act. He will be able to show whether fraud or deception are involved in a claim. Call 503-644-3266 or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation.