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Understand links between FMLA and workers’ comp

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. If an employee is out on workers’ comp due to a work-related injury that requires surgery, can we also force him to use FMLA days in conjunction with that workers’ comp leave? The workers’ comp carrier is paying the employee’s reduced wages. —B.F., Pennsylvania

A. Many employers don’t understand the interplay between the FMLA and workers’ comp. Injuries are generally covered by workers’ comp if they arise during the course and scope of employment. The fact that an injury is or isn’t covered by workers’ comp has absolutely nothing to do with FMLA coverage.

When an employee is out on workers’ comp leave, you must determine whether the leave should be counted against the 12-week FMLA entitlement. In most cases, it's proper to run FMLA time while the employee is receiving workers’ comp benefits. You must make this determination on a case-by-case basis.

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