Has Your Employer Denied You Family or Medical Leave?
Your employer must notify you of your option to take unpaid FMLA leave, even if you are already on leave and receiving workers’ compensation for a work injury.
The good news is that several laws protect workers from losing their jobs and their financial stability when they suffer injuries or illnesses related or unrelated to their work. The bad news is that trying to apply all of the laws at the same time can be so complicated that some employment lawyers refer to it as “whack a mole”; just when the employer has fulfilled all their obligations under one of the laws, it still has outstanding responsibilities under another law. The Family Leave and Medical Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act are federal laws that deal with employment protections for workers who require treatment or accommodations for health conditions, while workers’ compensation laws are enacted at the state level and only apply to injuries and illnesses resulting directly from the employee’s work. An Omaha workers’ compensation lawyer can help you exercise your rights under all three sets of laws if you get injured at work.
Can You Take FMLA Leave if You are Already Getting Workers’ Comp?
FMLA gives workers the right to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave for serious health conditions, without risk of losing their jobs; you can also take FMLA leave after the birth or adoption of a child or to care for a close family member who is ill. A serious health condition is one that requires treatment by a doctor and requires you to miss work for more than three days. You are eligible for FMLA if, at the time your illness begins, you have been working for your employer for at least 12 months, and you have worked at least 1,250 hours for your employer in the past year.
If you get injured, even if it is a work injury and you file a workers’ compensation claim, your employer must notify you of your right to take FMLA leave. Your employer cannot force you to use employer-provided sick leave when FMLA leave is available.
While FMLA leave is unpaid, it can buy you time to recover from work injuries without fear of losing your job. For example, if the leave time provided to you in your workers’ compensation claim runs out but you are still not well enough to return to work, you can take up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave, and your employer is obligated to let you return to work at the end of it. To avoid confusion and conflict, you should contact a workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible after your work injury occurs.
Contact Andres Law Offices, PC LLO About Workers’ Comp Claims and FMLA Leave
The law gives injured workers many rights, but employers do not always respect these rights. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help ensure that your employer meets its obligations to you if you get injured at work. Contact Andres Law Offices, PC LLO in Omaha, Nebraska about your workers’ compensation case.