What disabled employees in Michigan need to know about FMLA and workers’ comp.
Many of our clients want to know if their job is protected after getting hurt at work. The situation becomes even more confusing when an employer tells a disabled employee to take time off under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Our clients are confused because they do not understand FMLA and workers’ comp law.
Most people assume that their jobs will be protected under FMLA and workers’ comp after getting hurt at work. This is a real concern for employees who are temporarily disabled and want to eventually return to gainful employment. It is not always easy finding a new job within a person’s skills and qualifications if they are let go.
An employer does not have to keep a job open for an employee who is on workers’ comp. To help alleviate any confusion below we discuss what FMLA and workers’ comp is and answer the question if they can be used concurrently.
What is Family and Medical Leave Act?
The Family and Medical Leave Act is a federal law that entitles eligible employees to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for family or medical reasons. During this time off, the employee is guaranteed job protection and continuation of group health insurance coverage.
Not everyone qualifies so it is important to speak with an employment attorney to find out legal rights. A separate cause of action might exist if improperly denied FMLA time off.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is based upon state law (Michigan) and provides benefits to employees who are hurt on-the-job. Lost wages, medical care, and vocational rehabilitation are covered.
Wage loss benefits should be paid for as long as the injured employee is disabled. The amount should equal 80% of an employee’s after-tax average weekly wage. This is based upon the highest 39 paid weeks in the 52 weeks before the workplace accident.
Nothing in the law protects an employee’s job. However, the law allows an employer to offer “reasonable employment” or “favored work” instead of paying wage loss benefits. If the injured worker refuses this employment, wage loss benefits can be suspended.
Can FMLA and Workers’ Comp Run Together?
Yes, FMLA and workers’ comp can run concurrently in Michigan. Many employers insist and there is nothing illegal about this practice, but it does mean that the employee will have overlapping legal rights and protections.
We recommend cooperating with the employer and making sure any requirements for the Family and Medical Act have been satisfied. This will ensure some limited job protection while on workers’ compensation.
Michigan law prohibits an employer from firing or in any way discriminating against an employee who exercises a right under the law. This includes unfair performance reviews, harassment, changes to job duties, demotion, salary reduction, negative references, and unwarranted disciplinary action. Simply asking for either lost wages or medical treatment could be enough to trigger protection. Firing an employee because he or she filed a workers’ comp case is against the law. Call an experienced lawyer if this occurs.
Injured on the job in Michigan and need help? Call our work injury attorneys now!
If you suffered an injury on the job in Michigan and you have questions about FMLA and workers’ comp, call now to speak with an experienced attorney, or fill out our contact form for a free consultation. There is absolutely no cost or obligation. We’re here for you.
Our attorneys have been exclusively helping injured workers in Michigan for more than 35 years. Our attorneys can help you better understand Michigan laws and what happens after someone has been hurt on the job. To see what our own clients have to say about the caring, compassion, and communication they received from us, you can read in their own words about their experience here on our testimonials page from clients we have helped.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 316-8033 for a free consultation today.