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How is FMLA different than workers’ compensation?

On Behalf of | May 22, 2020 | Workers' Compensation |

The Family Medical Leave Act, otherwise known as FMLA, can impact any employee who experiences a serious medical issue or family situation that requires time off work.

It can also apply to situations where you get injured and cannot perform your daily job duties, similar to workers’ compensation.

Overlap for both

There are certain situations where both these rules can overlap, meaning that you may be receiving benefits from workers’ compensation while also using up the 12-week period off work given by FMLA. If you can only choose one, you have the ability to pick whichever one has the greatest benefit to you as an employee.

Effects on job protection

Job protection is not guaranteed in instances where FMLA coverage applies. However, workers’ compensation generally protects your job while you are out of work. By accepting workers’ compensation, you agree that you cannot sue the company for any of the injuries you got while working.


There are particular life events where you get unpaid leave under FMLA rules for employees, such as the birth of your child or an adoption. Multiple other events, such as your spouse’s or parents’ health problems, can also qualify.

FMLA does not provide pay for employees who miss work due to these issues. Workers’ compensation typically does. As long as the reason you take time off work falls under FMLA-approved reasons, your employer may force you to take FMLA time for work-related injuries. However, there are guidelines in place that check to make sure the employer is not unfairly requesting you to use up unpaid leave.



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