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The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

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The Family and Medical Leave Act is a federal law that gives qualifying employees an opportunity to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid time off from their job with a guarantee of their job still being available as long as they return at the end of this period. One of the purposes for this policy was to allow employees with serious health illnesses or injuries, such as an injury from a workplace accident, the time off they needed without the risk of losing their job.

Those interested in using FMLA should notify their employer thirty days prior to their intended date of leave. If it is not possible to give this much advance notice because of an emergency or urgent medical situation, then you should notify your employer as soon as possible.

One concern that many injured workers raise is whether or not FMLA can run concurrently with their worker’s compensation benefits during the time that the worker is ordered off. The answer is “yes,” the employer can run FMLA during the period you are ordered off to heal from your work injury. Although this may seem unfair, using FMLA while off for a work injury can be a good thing if you are able to return within twelve weeks because you will be guaranteed your old job or something very similar.

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