Can my employer force me to use FMLA while I am off work with a workers compensation claim?

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Can my employer force me to use FMLA while I am off work with a workers compensation claim?

I am off work due to an on the job injury and am receiving workers compensation and my employer just sent me paperwork saying that they are starting my FLMA leave. Am I required to use my FLMA leave at the same time as I am on workers compensation?

Asked on June 24, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Worker's compensation is income replacement and compensation for work related injuries. It, in and of itself, is not authorized or excused leave from work. Or, to put it another way: worker's compensation is money, not time. To take time off from work, you need to either 1) use earned or accrued leave time, such as paid time off (e.g. vacation or sick leave); 2) have approval from your employer to take time off; and/or 3) use some protected form of medical leave, such as FMLA. If you are not using or do not have enough of some form of paid time off, and your employer is not willing to simply let you take sick or injured leave without invoking Family and Medical Leave Act leave, then they can require you to use FMLA leave. Besides: FMLA leave is there for when you can't work; there's probably no reason not to use it. Good luck.


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