You may be familiar with workers’ compensation and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). But are these the same things? Can you get workers’ comp when you use FMLA? Are there restrictions on what’s considered FMLA or workers’ compensation?

    Understanding these terms and how they can be applied if you get injured on the job can ensure you get fair treatment. Here’s an overview explaining what the difference is between workers’ compensation and FMLA.

    What Is FMLA?

    FMLA guarantees employees who meet certain requirements can receive up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to address family and medical issues. During this time, the employee maintains their group health benefits, and when they return, the employer must provide the employee with the same job or one with very similar pay and benefits. To qualify, you must:

    • Have worked for your employer for at least 12 months
    • Work in an office where your employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles
    • Worked at least 1,250 hours over the previous year

    FMLA can be used for childbirth, adopting a child or caring for a family member. It can also be used by someone with a health condition. Leave can last up to 12 weeks.

    Does Workers’ Comp Qualify for FMLA?

    If you suffered an injury at work that will require you to take time off, you may qualify for both workers’ compensation and FMLA. For example, you may have suffered a concussion on the job that makes it impossible for you to perform your usual tasks. You can file for workers’ compensation because the injury occurred at work.

    People may use FMLA concurrently with workers’ compensation to protect their job. There is nothing in Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law that requires an employer to hold your job open for you while you recover. Under FMLA, your employer must either keep your job or give you one with similar pay or benefits if you return after 12 weeks.

    Your employer may decide to use FMLA while you are recovering from your injury, but they must inform you. They cannot tell you after the fact that they invoked FMLA.

    Can FMLA Be Used With Workers’ Comp in PA?

    Yes, but keep in mind that you can only qualify for workers’ compensation if you have been injured on the job. So, for instance, if you broke your arm trying to skateboard with your nephew, you are eligible to take FMLA but not workers’ compensation because the injury did not occur at work.

    Still not sure what qualifies for workers’ compensation and what the distinction is with FMLA? Contact the attorneys at Frommer D’Amico. We can discuss your case and help you decide the best route. We offer lower fees, and we never take employers’ cases, only employees’. Workers’ comp is the only thing we specialize in. For a free consultation on your case, call 717-400-1000 or get in touch online.


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