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Walmart allegedly violates the FMLA

Earlier this year, Walmart faced accusations of violating the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) by illegally punishing employees that used sick days and took time off to care for ill family members. Since Walmart is the largest employer in the United States, this is extremely troublesome. More than 1,000 current and former employees participated in a survey and spoke with advocacy groups that brought this problem into the spotlight.

The FMLA provides protections to workers that need to take days off due to a personal medical condition or to take care of a loved one suffering from an illness, injury, or disability. According to the survey and interviews, Walmart employees have suffered penalties including termination for calling in sick. If you feel that your employer has violated the FMLA or retaliated against you for using legally protected sick time, an experienced attorney in the Sherman Oaks area can help.

Walmart employees have reported instances where they cannot obtain information concerning their allotted sick time and how much they have used during the year. This makes it impossible for employees to know whether or not they still have sick time available. Furthermore, the company uses a point system to penalize employees. If a worker takes a day off that the company considers to be unauthorized, the worker receives disciplinary points. There are also reports of managers refusing to accept doctors' notes for missed days.

In general, it seems that Walmart's policy is to require notice from employees at least one hour before the start of their shifts if they are going to miss work. This applies to emergency situations as well. Reports from anonymous employees describe situations where management does not even consider the content of doctors' notes while deciding if an absence was unauthorized.

When requesting a leave of absence, Walmart requires that employees notify management at least three weeks prior to the intended leave. Management must then approve the request. Unfortunately, we cannot always know when an emergency will happen which requires us to miss work. Studies show that Walmart has punished almost 80 percent of the employees that called in sick due to a medical emergency.

If you have suffered because your employer has violated the Family Medical Leave Act, it is important to remember that you still have federally protected rights. This means that you can file a claim against your employer for violating the FMLA and causing you financial distress.

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