Taking Leave Under FMLA Concurrent With Workers’ Compensation

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and workers' compensation originated in different eras and with different purposes. Both workers and employers often grapple with questions about the interplay of the two when an employee cannot work for some time after an injury on the job.

Let's review the intent of both programs:

  • A leave under FMLA allows a worker to take up to 12 weeks off per year — either unpaid or using paid time off or both — due to a serious medical condition of the employee (or a close family member). The definition of a "serious medical condition" typically includes a hospital stay, a period of incapacity and other factors.
  • An absence after a workplace injury allows an employee to file a claim for benefits that include payments for medical treatment and partial wage replacement covering an absence due to a temporary or permanent disability.

Factors To Keep In Mind With Workers' Comp And FMLA

An extended absence from work triggered by a workplace injury is normally covered by workers' compensation benefits, but the worker cannot receive wages as usual at the same time. Therefore, for a worker to receive workers' compensation while on an FMLA absence, the employee and employer must designate the FMLA absence to be unpaid, without the option of applying vacation pay or sick leave pay from the employer at the same time. In other words, it cannot be paid time off or PTO.

Please note that the information on this website is general in nature and may not apply to the specific set of facts in your individual case.

Complications sometimes arise as employers determine how to designate a worker's leave of absence (paid or unpaid) after a workplace injury. To protect your rights, do not simply rely on your employer's human resources (HR) department to give you the straight-up information you need at this critical time. Consult with an attorney well-versed in workers' compensation for clarification and to ensure you receive all income and benefits you are eligible for, including workers' compensation benefits.

For Reliable Information Pertaining To Your Workplace Injury And Available Sources Of Compensation, Talk To An Attorney

Cohen, Snyder, Eisenberg & Katzenberg, P.A., from offices in Baltimore, Bel Air, Frederick, Essex, Glen Burnie and Towson, assists injured workers. A lawyer from our firm will evaluate your case free of charge and advise you on the next best course of action taking into account laws governing workers' compensation and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) absences in Maryland. The sooner you contact us, the better. We want to see you receive all income and benefits that apply in your case after you have been hurt on the job.

Call us at 443-529-0795, or at 410-332-0045 on nights and weekends, when you have suffered an injury on the job. You can also send an email inquiry.