The thought of being out of work for any amount of time due to an injury or illness can be overwhelming. How will you pay all of your bills, both the ones already established and the ones accumulated as a result of the injury?
Fortunately, if you find yourself in this situation, you may have multiple avenues in place designed to keep you and your family afloat during this difficult time. There are two main directions that one can take in the case of an injury, and it is important that, as an employee, you are educated on both of these avenues so that you can know your rights during this time.
What Is FMLA?
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that guarantees employees up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave without the threat of job loss. With this stated, it also requires that employers of workers covered under this law maintain any health benefits that were already provided. These weeks off are required by law in order to provide an adequate amount of time for employees to tend to medical conditions without the threat of losing their job affecting the process. However, if your employer requires you to pay a portion of your health insurance premium, they can still require you to do so while you’re on leave.
In addition to the time provided for an employee regarding their own medical conditions, under FMLA, employees are also offered time to care for immediate family members suffering from illness or injury.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Unlike FMLA, workers’ compensation is an amount paid to an employee who is injured on the job. This compensation will often cover the necessary time off, providing approximately two-thirds of the person’s weekly salary as well as medical costs accumulated because of the injury up to a certain amount. In addition, the company is required to continue to provide any medical insurance that the employee was already receiving before the injury.
How Does Workers’ Compensation Affect FMLA?
It is important to note that these two systems may affect the benefits of each other in the case that you qualify to receive both.
It is not illegal for an employer to require an employee to use FMLA in order to take time off for an injury. With this stated, the employer is required to properly notify the employee in writing that the leave will be counted as FMLA leave.
There is an exception to this case. The employer cannot force the employee to take time off under FMLA for an injury if there is already a workers’ compensation claim in place. This is important to note when determining which of the two options might be the most applicable to your individual situation.
Help from an Evansville Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you were injured either at work or away from work and were refused necessary compensation or time off for your injury, you could be entitled to more. Let one of our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys guide you through the process. Contact Hensley Legal Group today for a free consultation or contact us online.