Security Guard: FMLA Protects Workers and Families


More than two decades ago, the Family and Medical Leave Act was established so workers like Luc-Uriel Emmanuel wouldn’t have to choose between caring for himself or a loved one and the job that he needs.

Luc, a 45-year-old husband and father, had worked for more than three years as a security guard for a company in Boston. Two of his family members had serious health conditions.

Luc-Uriel Emmanuel

In late 2015, Luc requested not to work a Saturday shift that he had been covering in addition to his regular 40 hours of work per week in order to attend to his wife’s health. His supervisor initially approved his request for time off verbally, but later denied it. When Luc said he could not work that shift, he was written up for absenteeism and removed from the schedule.

Luc contacted the Boston office of the department’s Wage and Hour Division for help. An investigator substantiated his claim that he had not been informed of his FMLA rights or eligibility, and that the act should have protected him in this situation. When the investigator informed the company of her findings, management agreed to pay his lost wages and come into compliance.

“I think it’s very important to educate employees about their rights with regard to the FMLA,” Luc said of his experience. “I think about those employees who don't know that the department is there to help them.”

The Wage and Hour Division has resources about the FMLA to help workers understand their rights and employers understand their responsibilities. Most employers want to properly comply with the FMLA’s promise of leave without pay and guaranteed job protection. “The Employer’s Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act” is a step-by-step guide designed to walk employers, managers, human resources specialists and others through the FMLA leave administration process. Download the PDF online or order free copies here.

For additional questions about the FMLA or other labor laws, call 1-866-4-US-WAGE (1-866-487-9243).

Editor’s note: The DOL Working for You series highlights the Labor Department’s programs in action. View other posts in the series here.

James Lally is a public affairs specialist for the department in Boston.


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Comments

I am having a issue, I work at a site for a full week of 54 hrs. They transfer that Thursday on the 6/29 started a new site. Now I was suppose to get pay for the other site on 13 and the giving me the run around for my last pay for the site..

Emily, please call 1-866-487-9243 or contact your local Wage and Hour Division office for assistance: https://www.dol.gov/whd/america2.htm

I had a root canal done 4 hours before my shift. I put in to take off and was denied. I worked as a security officer for TDCJ. I was told I still had to come to work even with a doctors note saying I needed to be on bed rest. I showed up to work but was really not feeling well at all and did not feel comfortable working. I told the shift Lieutenant that I did not feel safe working and I was not feeling well at all. Very woosy and sick to my stomach. He said if I went home I would be written up. I was written up. I had never missed a shift working at this unit. I worked multiple double shifts and covered people all the time. My previous unit was not like that. But this one had alot of issues. What does an employee do when this happens? By the way I did look for work after this happened and left shortly after. I do not miss it or regret it. In some ways it was a blessing.

April, please call 1-866-487-9243 or contact your local Wage and Hour Division office for assistance: https://www.dol.gov/whd/america2.htm

My hours at work was cut in half. My schedule was changed to shifts I am not available to work. I questioned the reason and was told fairness was an issue when pointing out a male worker kept his etc. The new manager got annoyed stating my job performance was the reasoning. When asking how come it's horrible he couldn't tell me a reason. I was told that if people placed om the days didn't work I'll get it back. Explaining financially I couldn't afford the change or childcare. Just to be told how he can etc. I was expected to work the next day with no childcare or for my children to quit their sports activities. The only times he could consider me working is when it interferes with prior commitments. Now I'm slowly getting less hours being sent home early. Other employees arrive early and allows other to start work early. I've never had any discipline prior always good feedback same schedule for years. As soon as this man come in to foresee operations while current manager on medical leave it's been awful. I never hated my job or felt worthlessness when I can't pay a car note or school shopping until now.

Kelly, if you want to speak with someone in our Wage and Hour Division about your situation, you can call 1-866-487-9243. 

I need to find the form to fill for FMLA violation from my employer and I do not find it anywhere. Why is so dificult to find something that supposed to be available to anyone?

Please contact our Wage and Hour Division at 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243) for assistance, or file a complaint online at https://www.dol.gov/whd/howtofilecomplaint.htm.

HELLO MY NAME IS GLORIA AND I'M ON MEDICAL LEAVE STILL SINCE JULY 9 2017 AND HAD SURGERY ON JULY 13 2017 STILL NOT PAID FOR MEDICAL LEAVE

Gloria, please call our Wage and Hour Division to discuss your situation: 1-866-487-9243.

I am on light duty fulltime 5 days a week and my doctor put me down on rest for my back pain injury, neck , right and left shoulder , arm , hand , hip , leg , and right feet June 19-23 2017 with a Doctor excuse and my Manager AWOL me and denied causing me to be behide in my car note, rent, light bill, and food on my table and this is not the first time she AWOL me from my pay not because I am the wose CNA but one of the best NA's and I was being harass by her for the pass three where I had to file a complant on her and report her to my Uion and the EEO and report her to workers Comp after my back injury because I told my Manager more the once that she not to talk my Doctor report at the nursing state around my co. workers to ask to speak to me in her office . My Manager Mrs. Ellison, Mr. Turner , and Mrs. Andrews , have done a lot of lieing to me and I don't trust them because of that and trying to get me back on the floor many times with my back injury .

Ollie, please call our Wage and Hour Division to discuss your situation: 1-866-487-9243.

I was ask by my supervisor to clock out and finish other assignments. What can I do?

Isai, please call our Wage and Hour Division to discuss your situation: 1-866-487-9243.

I need to know whether in the State of Florida I am able to take my lunch break of 30 minutes an hour before the end of my shift. I work 7 and a half hours. Or do I have to take my lunch break soon after I've worked 4 hours. My employer is in Kentucky in the Private sector. Thank you

Martha, please call our Wage and Hour Division to discuss your situation: 1-866-487-9243.

I had the same thing happen to me, i told my supervisor that my great grandma had just passed and i needed time off to make it the funeral it was down in southern cali, she verbally approved it and the next day told me inhad to switch with someone or call in. I called in on a friday and told the manager of the day that i wasnt going to be in because of the funeral and i wasnt goin to be in saturday either, the head CASHIER calked me on saturday and told me i was getting points against me for a no call no show. The manager of the day didnt put me down onnthe call out log.

Hi Mag, please call our Wage and Hour Division to discuss your question at 1-866-4US-WAGE (1-866-487-9243) or find the office nearest you at https://www.dol.gov/whd/contact_us.htm.

I work security. During my interview when I was hired, I was informed I would initially would be paid at a certain rate until my background check was complete for another site they wanted me work. Once my background was complete and the interview with the client who said I would be a great fit for the client, I began working. When I received my paycheck, it was not at the higher rate promised me. I have spoken with the Account manager and no response whatsoever. I spoke with HR and he told me that he does not handle wages, I would have to speak with the account manager about it but he would let him know to talk to me about it. The HR person said he only handles conflicts if I was having any with my lead officer/supervisor. It has now been two paychecks later and I'm getting no responses from anyone. This is the first company that I have worked for where HR does not handle wage, benefit information, etc. What is my next step? The protocol is not clear with this company. Should I then go to HQ, head of HR? Your direction is appreciated. Thanks.

I work security. During my interview when I was hired, I was informed I would initially would be paid at a certain rate until my background check was complete for another site they wanted me work. Once my background was complete and the interview with the client who said I would be a great fit for the client, I began working. When I received my paycheck, it was not at the higher rate promised me. I have spoken with the Account manager and no response whatsoever. I spoke with HR and he told me that he does not handle wages, I would have to speak with the account manager about it but he would let him know to talk to me about it. The HR person said he only handles conflicts if I was having any with my lead officer/supervisor. It has now been two paychecks later and I'm getting no responses from anyone. In addition, I'm the permanent night shift officer and I receive no pay differential. This is the first company that I have worked for where HR does not handle wage, benefit information, etc. What is my next step? The protocol is not clear with this company. Should I then go to HQ, head of HR? Your direction is appreciated. Thanks.

Elle, please call our Wage and Hour Division to discuss your situation: 1-866-487-9243.

I need help need to go whats the correct office to file a complaint against my employer for not properly handeling my leave of absence

Hi Liz, please call our Wage and Hour Division to discuss your question at 1-866-4US-WAGE (1-866-487-9243) or find the office nearest you at https://www.dol.gov/whd/contact_us.htm.

Every wednesday we are closed and i work everyday except wednesday i get paid every two weeks 1 to 15 and 16 to end of the month how do i calculate overtime working 12 hours a day and more

Hi Jeromy, please call our Wage and Hour Division to discuss your question at 1-866-4US-WAGE (1-866-487-9243) or find the office nearest you at https://www.dol.gov/whd/contact_us.htm.

I currently work as a Security officer. I have been with my company for over a year now. I'm currently active POA over my family member. I reached out to our LOA department regarding my FMLA. I was told that it wouldn't cover my family member because it's not my domestic partner, spouse, or my child. However I did ask since I am POA how does this cover me? still to this day I have yet to hear anything back from my LOA department regarding my issue. I really need to hear something sooner then later because my job is at risk now. I put my time off request in to my account manager the first week of September. I had a very Important appointment to attend with my family member that took place on September 26, 2017. I came to work on September 13, 2017 to an email from my account manager that stated she would be unable approve my request at this time. however the reason to why my request was denied was never given. September 26, 2017 I had to call off due to my request being denied. I got a call from my Operations manager who stated that technically due to my call off I was supposed to be terminated, however he mentioned that since I had vacation time available that he was going to overturn my termination. Prior to putting in my request to my account manager and receiving the email denying my time off request my account manager NEVER volunteered my vacation time on the books. As of today October 3,2017 I received a call back from the DOL that wasn't AT ALL helpful to my special situation. I have no understanding for laws put out to supposedly protect people and HURT them at the same time. Being active Power of Attorney should cover all persons Not just mother father child and or domestic partner. My aunt and or uncle should be covered as well as grandmother and or grandfather sadly they are not so I have to put my job at risk with NOTHING setup to help me. WOW

Did you call our toll-free hotline 1-866-4US-WAGE (1-866-487-9243)? If you need additional information regarding your situation, please call that number.

I had cervical neck surgery back in October 2016 and returned back to work on Jan 4th 2017 utilizing only 10weeks, I returned back and my job duties where changed without notice and doing more strenuous duties than prior to the surgery and leave. I recently was involved in a off the job automobile accident and informed my employer, the 2 weeks of FMLA time I had left was utilized and I was terminated 2weeks to be exact while out for the car accident. I received a call that I was terminated no reason given and when I received my separation notice it had excessive absences. I was terminated while out under doctors orders. I have filed a complaint with the EEOC, for denial of extended leave under ADA, but I feel like they violated my FMLA rights by changing my job when I returned back that caused my flare ups with my condition and then terminating me while out for a car accident that was determined 2weeks which is what I had remaining of the FMLA. I'm just not sure what other way to get justice

I was terminated on Wednesday October 18th. I was owed my pay for the week ending 10/14/2017 and for week ending 10/21/2017. Today was supposed to be my payday for week ending 10/14/2017 but when I looked at my bank account it shows my check was deposited and then withdrawn by my previous employer. I've contacted the owner and the guy that runs the hr department. The owner wants me to sign something stating I owe the company money. To my knowledge I don't owe them money for anything and I've never received any notification stating that I did. She is refusing to give me the pay that is owed to me and I feel as if the way she is speaking to me is of a threatening manner because i won't sign anything stating I owe them anything. What can I do?

Hi Crystal, please call our Wage and Hour Division to discuss your question at 1-866-4US-WAGE (1-866-487-9243) or find the office nearest you at https://www.dol.gov/whd/contact_us.htm.

I recently resigned from a company contemporary services corporation in nevada, the payday wason 09\29\17 , they told me they mailed my on 10\05\17, I've not gotten it my mail, i called on 10\17\17 , and told me it was mailed to the wrong address, i have not received my pay yet , what can i do?

Hi Howard, please call our Wage and Hour Division to discuss your question at 1-866-4US-WAGE (1-866-487-9243) or find the office nearest you at https://www.dol.gov/whd/contact_us.htm.

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