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Financial consequences of FMLA compliance and litigation

Business owners in Maryland may be able to avoid future litigation expenses by familiarizing themselves with family leave laws. Today, failure to comply with the rules and regulations that are laid out in the federal Family and Medical Leave Act is becoming very expensive. According to one source, the average verdict in a wrongful termination case involving the FMLA is $335,000.

The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has reported that the number of FMLA lawsuits is increasing quickly. In 2012, there were 291 FMLA lawsuits filed while in 2013, 877 lawsuits were filed. A similarly dramatic jump in claims has not been seen in any other area of employment law. Some argue that more claims are filed under the FMLA because they require a much lower burden of proof.

In addition to the potentially devastating financial consequences of FMLA employment disputes, employers must deal with the cost of FMLA compliance. The Employment Policy Foundation has found that employers in the United States lose a combined total of over $21 billion each year by complying with FMLA rules and regulations. These monetary losses are incurred through lost productivity, labor replacement and continued health benefits.

A business owner who wishes to avoid the costs of FMLA litigation might want to speak with an attorney to find out whether or not they are in compliance with the current laws. An attorney may be able to help an employer to develop systems to ensure that family medical leave rights of employees are being respected. If an employer has already been sued by a worker for violating the FMLA, an attorney may be able to help them reach a cost-effective resolution to the dispute.

Source: Entrepreneur, "Prepare for Family Leave Laws and Avoid Litigation Later", Leo Corcoran, December 07, 2014

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