What’s the Difference Between Workers’ Compensation and the FMLA?

FMLA vs Workers’ Compensation: What Is Workers’ Compensation?

If you’re injured at work, you may be wondering about FMLA vs workers’ compensation. Our PA workers’ comp lawyer can help you get started today. While the benefits afforded by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act and the federal Family & Medical Leave Act may occasionally overlap, for the most part, they are completely separate programs that can help employees during difficult times.

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance program, paid for by your employer, which pays benefits when an employee is injured at work or has a work-related illness. Employees receive medical treatment and are partially compensated for lost wages. An employer that carries workers’ compensation insurance, as is required by Pennsylvania law, is protected from direct lawsuits by injured employees.

The amount you receive for a workers’ compensation claim is based upon your “average weekly wage.” Thus, the amount you receive varies based upon your wages. 

Image: When considering FMLA vs workers compensation, you need to consider whether you would be paid during your absence from work. Workers compensation pay depends on your average weekly wage.
PA workers’ compensation statewide average weekly wage chart 2022-2023-2024

FMLA vs Workers’ Compensation: What Is the FMLA?

The Family & Medical Leave Act is a federal law that requires employers to give an employee up to 12 weeks off during any 12-month period to deal with a serious medical condition – whether it’s job-related or not. The employee can also take FMLA leave to care for a close family member who is dealing with a serious medical condition. FMLA is unpaid leave, but any health insurance benefits you had before taking leave must be maintained. Your employer is barred by law from firing or demoting you in retaliation for taking FMLA leave.

If you have short-term disability benefits through your employer, you may be able to receive these benefits while you are on FMLA leave.

FMLA vs Workers’ Compensation: Do I have to pay tax on my benefits?

Workers’ compensation benefits are not taxable at the state or federal levels. This makes workers compensation benefits an invaluable part of any strategy when you are injured. Other benefits available to you may be taxable.

For example, if you decide to apply for FMLA and short term disability benefits, your benefits may be taxed. If you employ the wrong strategy, you may overpay your taxes!

How Do Workers’ Compensation and the FMLA Overlap?

If you need to take time off to deal with a serious work injury or illness, both workers’ compensation and the FMLA may apply. Through workers’ compensation, depending on your situation, you would likely receive workers’ compensation wage loss and medical benefits during the time you are recovering from your injuries. That time off could also be counted toward your FMLA 12-week maximum, as your employer notifies you that they are doing so. In other words, your employer can’t decide later that the workers’ compensation time off you took also constitutes FMLA leave.

There are lots of programs, laws, and regulations out there meant to protect workers from unfair or unscrupulous employers. Sometimes they intersect in ways that can be complex and confusing for someone who isn’t an expert.  If you are considering FMLA vs workers’ compensation, a PA workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the legal maze of workers’ compensation, the FMLA, and other employment laws and personal injury laws to preserve all the rights and benefits to which you are entitled.

Where can I get more information regarding FMLA vs Workers’ Compensation?

If you’re looking for general information regarding FMLA vs workers’ compensation, we have a few great resources for you. To start, Attorney Goldberg offers his book, “The Essential Workers’ Compensation Survival Guide“, for FREE, just by requesting a copy. As part of the ARM Yourself With Knowledge series, this guide aims to help you navigate the workers’ compensation process. You can claim your free copy by filling out the form below!

Claim Your Free Copy!

Image: "The Essential Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Guide" by Joshua B. Goldberg, Esq. In this guide Attorney Goldberg discusses workers compensation in detail including FMLA vs workers compensation.

Contact a PA workers’ comp lawyer today!

If you are injured at work and are considering FMLA vs workers’ compensation, just give us a call and we’d be happy to discuss your case. Our consultations are completely free so you have nothing to lose. If you’d prefer to e-mail us, just click here for a free consultation.

When you put ARM Lawyers on your case, we provide strong legal representation from start to finish. We examine all the evidence, interview witnesses and provide expert legal witnesses to help calculate the extent of your workplace injuries. Our experience and detailed case presentation is what you need to get faster answers and to submit your properly prepared documents in a timely manner. We have the strength, confidence and excellence to take charge and help you through this difficult time.