Do I Have to Use FMLA for Workers Comp?

When employees are injured on the job and know their recovery will take time, they often approach human resources to find out whether they are covered by Workers Compensation insurance or must instead take a leave of absence under the Family Medical Leave Act, or FMLA. It’s not a surprise that some organizations ask themselves the same thing.

The short answer is no, injured employees do not need to take FMLA for Workers Comp if they are eligible for Workers Compensation. They may want to, however.

Differences Between FMLA and Workers Compensation

There are a few big differences between FMLA, a federal law, and Workers Compensation, an insurance program typically run by each state. To begin, FMLA is available to any employee who develops a serious health condition, while Workers Compensation is only available to employees injured while working.

Benefits differ between the two, as well. Workers Comp pays for medical bills related to the injury and provides two-thirds of an employee’s salary. FMLA is unpaid leave, but it does protect an employee’s job by federal law. Workers Comp does not guarantee employment.

For that reason, employees eligible for Workers Comp may want to consider also taking FMLA at the same time. If they can take both, FMLA will protect their job while Workers Compensation will provide income.

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