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Family and Medical Leave Act Advisor

Investigative Authority

The FMLA prohibits employers from discriminating or retaliating against an employee or prospective employee for having exercised FMLA rights. Employers may not interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any rights provided by the FMLA and cannot use the taking of FMLA leave against employees in employment actions, such as hiring, promotions, or disciplinary actions.

To ensure compliance with the provisions of the FMLA and its regulations, the Secretary of Labor, or a designated representative, has the authority to:

  • Investigate and gather data regarding the wages, hours and other conditions and practices of employment in any industry subject to the FMLA; and may enter and inspect such places and records (and make transcriptions);
  • Question employees;
  • Investigate facts, conditions, practices or matters as he or she may deem necessary or appropriate to determine whether any person has violated any provision of the FMLA, or which may aid in the enforcement of the provisions of the FMLA; and
  • Issue a subpoena.

If an employer has violated one or more provisions of FMLA, and if justified by the facts of a particular case, an employee may receive one or more of the following:

  • Wages
  • Employment benefits
  • Other compensation denied or lost to such employee by reason of the violation
  • Appropriate equitable relief, including employment, reinstatement, promotion, or any other relief tailored to the harm suffered

Return to the FMLA Advisor Introduction or see information on Enforcement.