Family-leave employment discrimination lawsuits up 590 percent

Despite many recent changes in family medical leave laws, many in California and throughout the country still face stiff opposition when asking for both paid and unpaid time off for family reasons. There is legislation on national, state and local levels that protects workers from employment discrimination due to these reasons. However, many employers either do not understand current laws or continue to disregard them.

According to a recent article, most employment discrimination lawsuits declined between 1998 and 2012. However, those filed as a result of family-leave discrimination rose precipitously. The article further states that the fastest-growing category of suit was filed by employees taking care of elderly family members, which increased 650 percent.

The article stipulates that while most employers have generally embraced the concept of time off for the birth of a child, many have not accepted new laws that protect workers' rights when they have to take time off to care for an elderly family member. The article also dispels the common thought that most of the lawsuits are brought forth by women; approximately 40 percent were brought by men. Plaintiffs in these cases have been awarded positive verdicts about 70 percent of the time.

Employees in California may benefit from an attorney's advice if they feel they are facing employment discrimination. When requesting time off for family leave, there are state and federal laws that protect employees. An attorney who focuses on employment law and litigation could be the best source of information regarding the legal options available to pursue a civil suit.

Source: Fortune, "More Employees Are Suing Over Family Care, and Winning", Anne Fisher, May 24, 2016

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