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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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:

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:

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


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.

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