Many people confuse the Family Medical Leave Act, FMLA, with workers’ compensation. However, they are completely different. When you are injured on the job, you are entitled to get paid while you are off from work, whether you are off for two weeks, two months or two years. FMLA is something completely different. FMLA applies to employers with more than 50 employees. 

According to Chron, if you work for a company with less than 50 employees, it is not covered by FMLA. If the company has more than 50 employees and you are injured on the job, you are eligible for Family Medical Leave Act benefits. FMLA provides for 12 weeks of unpaid work, time off from work and they have to give you your job back after those 12 weeks. If your employer is covered by FMLA, they can require you to apply for FMLA even though you were injured on the job. 

If your work injury keeps you off of work for more than 12 weeks, your employer does not need to leave your position open when you return to work. If you return to work within 12 weeks, your employer must give you your job back. FMLA can be very broad. It can be because of a non-work injury or child or a spouse’s medical need that allows you to take time off from work. FMLA can be covered with workers’ compensation, but they are completely different. If your employer requires you to fill out FMLA paperwork, you must do it. If you do not, it is very likely you will not have a job waiting for you when you come back.