The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for certain family or medical reasons. While the FMLA provides important protections for employees, it can also create potential liabilities for employers. That’s where Family and Medical Leave Act Liability Insurance, or FMLA Liability Insurance, comes into play.
FMLA Liability Insurance provides coverage to employers in the event that they are sued for alleged violations of the FMLA. This type of insurance can help cover legal expenses, settlements, and other costs associated with an FMLA lawsuit.
Employers can face potential FMLA liability if they fail to properly provide FMLA leave to eligible employees, retaliate against employees who take FMLA leave, or interfere with employees’ FMLA rights. Some examples of FMLA lawsuits include:
- Smith v. Northern Illinois University, No. 19-cv-2399 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 27, 2019): In this case, the plaintiff alleged that her employer interfered with her FMLA rights by requiring her to use paid time off concurrently with FMLA leave, which effectively reduced the amount of leave she was entitled to. Link: https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.ilnd.367074/gov.uscourts.ilnd.367074.29.0_1.pdf
- Brady v. United Parcel Service, No. 2:17-cv-02394 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 26, 2019): In this case, the plaintiff alleged that her employer terminated her employment in retaliation for taking FMLA leave to care for her son, who had a serious medical condition. Link: https://www.leagle.com/decision/infdco20190429h54
- Ward v. Costco Wholesale Corp., No. 1:19-cv-05689 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 26, 2020): In this case, the plaintiff alleged that her employer interfered with her FMLA rights by failing to provide her with proper notice of her FMLA rights and obligations. Link: https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.ilnd.370963/gov.uscourts.ilnd.370963.1.0_1.pdf
FMLA Liability Insurance can help protect employers from the potential costs of defending against these types of lawsuits. However, it is important to note that FMLA Liability Insurance is often included as part of a broader Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) policy, which provides coverage for a range of employment-related liabilities, including discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination.
In summary, FMLA Liability Insurance provides coverage to employers in the event that they are sued for alleged violations of the FMLA. While FMLA lawsuits can be costly and time-consuming, having the right insurance coverage can help employers protect themselves and their business. Employers should consider obtaining an EPLI policy that includes FMLA Liability Insurance to ensure that they are adequately protected from a range of employment-related liabilities.