Does FMLA affect my Workers’ Comp benefits?


First of all, I am a workers’ compensation attorney, so any information given here is strictly related to workers’ comp claims. If you have questions regarding FMLA that do not involve workers’ compensation, you need to contact a labor law attorney. If you would like to speak to a labor law attorney, please contact my office and we can put you in touch with an excellent attorney for labor and employment law issues. (Department of Labor website)


(Q) What does the Family and Medical leave act provide?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave a year, and requires group health benefits to be maintained during the leave as if employees continued to work instead of taking leave. Employees are also entitled to return to their same or an equivalent job at the end of their FMLA leave.

The FMLA also provides certain military family leave entitlements. Eligible employees may take FMLA leave for specified reasons related to certain military deployments of their family members. Additionally, they may take up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave in a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness.


FMLA is protected time off of work; it does not pay your wages and can be taken for several reasons. Receiving FMLA benefits does not reduce or impact your workers’ compensation benefits in any way.


Many times, when an injured worker has been taken off of work for an extended period of time, their employers will require them to fill out FMLA paperwork as well. This simply means that for the period of FMLA taken, you job is protected for that time frame. Once the FMLA expires, there is no more protected time off of work.


The Virginia Workers’ Compensation system DOES NOT offer any job protection. If you are off of work due to an injury, even if it was an on the job injury, you can be terminated at any time (except when you are protected by the FMLA as described above).


About the Author:

The Injured Workers Law Firm is a Richmond, Virginia based firm solely focused on serving clients with workers' compensation claims in Virginia. If you have questions about your benefits or if you would like more information on the Virginia workers’ compensation system, order our book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” , or call our office today (804) 755-7755.