Workers’ Compensation Video Series – Part 3 of 5

In this segment of our Workers’ Compensation Video Series, Attorney Ben Schwartz discusses the Family Medical Leave Act and what you should know …more importantly, what your employer may not tell you if you need to file a workers’ compensation claim.

Workers’ Compensation Video Series –
Part 3 of 5


Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz.

Today, we’re doing video #3 in our series about what employers don’t tell their employees when they have been injured on-the-job; specifically, we will discuss a federal law called FMLA.

FMLA (The Family Medical Leave Act) requires certain employers to hold the job of the employee until he or she can come back to work. I want to walk you through the FMLA because employers often neglect to tell their injured employees that they (the employer) must hold the job of the employee until he or she can return. It’s a complicated law, but I want to try and simplify it. The United States Department of Labor fact sheet #28 is available on the internet.

You can obtain this information yourself directly from the United States Department of Labor website. Eligible employees can take unpaid job-protected leave for a specific amount of time. Unpaid job-protected leave means that, under FMLA, you’re not going to get paid. You should understand that if you’re injured on-the-job and you’re taking FMLA leave, we can probably get your wages covered (if not fully covered then at least partially covered either under workers’ compensation insurance or under short term disability insurance depending on the facts of your specific situation). FMLA does not require the employer to cover lost wages. We look to other laws that require your employer or the workers’ compensation insurance company to cover lost wages.

Under FMLA, the employer must hold the job if it’s a covered employer. A covered employer is a private sector employer that is a private company, not the government, with 50 or more employees and 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year. If an employer has 50 or more employees, then it’s going to be a covered employer.  A covered employer also can be a public agency, a local state or federal government agency. Public or private elementary or secondary schools, regardless of the number of employees, will be covered by FMLA.

The fact sheet also defines eligible employees. An eligible employee means someone who works for a covered employer and has worked for that employer for at least 12 months. If you look on the fact sheet, the 12 months don’t have to be consecutive months. The employee needs at least 1,250 hours of service for that employer during the 12 months immediately preceding the period of time that he or she is out of work. He or she must also work in a location where the employer has at least 50 employees. If you continue scrolling down to leave entitlement, you will read that you can take up to 12 weeks leave in a one-year period for a serious injury or a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of the job.

This fact sheet basically does a very nice job of summarizing the FMLA. If the employee has been employed for 12 months working for this employer and the employer has 50 or more employees or is a public employee, government or school, the employee has the opportunity to take up to 12 weeks off in order to heal, get better and then return to his or her job. The FMLA is great for the employee. Most employers, at least in the cases that I’m handling, are not coming right out and volunteering this information to the employees. It’s not something that’s volunteered by most employers. But you should know your rights as an employee who was injured on-the-job in the United States of America.

Please watch part 4 of our workers’ compensation video series here.

Workers’ Compensation Video Series –
Part 3 of 5


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