It is unfortunate when an employee suffers an injury at work. Long-term damages include more than just a physical injury, as many times an employee is unable to report for duty until the injury has healed. The Family and Medical Leave Act allows an employee to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave for specified medical or family reasons. However, there is some confusion over how this coincides with workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers comp is an employee benefit that provides financial assistance in the event an employee gets injured while on the clock. This a financial benefit but does not guarantee a positional benefit. An injured employee may receive compensation from the injury, but there are new required allowances for having your position help open or your rate of pay. Under the FMLA, the employee receives unpaid time off but there is no fear of job loss or income for the 12 weeks.
In most states, employees are allowed to use both FMLA and workers comp benefits at the same time, but this is usually a personal choice. You are not required to take an absence from work for the injury rather than having the company pay for the injury coverage established in the benefit plan.
If you have been injured at work, speak to your HR department right away. You want to be sure you are receiving the benefits entitled to you.