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FMLA With Workers Comp Return To Work – Expensive Mistake

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FMLA With Workers Comp Return To Work

The relationship of FMLA  with Workers Comp Return to Work is still an area of much confusion even today.   The FMLA has been in existence since 1993.

FMLA Workers Comp Return Department of Labor US badge
(c) department of labor USA

I do not claim to be an FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) expert whatsoever.  That issue is best left to the Human Resources (HR) experts. However,  when combining FMLA with Workers Comp return to work, each benefit can  greatly affect the other.  A very expensive mistake can ensue if not handled properly.

The WC adjusting staff is not usually responsible to send out FMLA notice letters to injured employees that are on TTD (Temporary Total Disability).   The FMLA notice should follow the same,timing as WC disability leave.

If the injured employee is not put on notice while out on TTD, the FMLA 12 weeks of leave will not automatically expire.   The employer needs to send the notice.   If not, there may be an instance where the employee is entitled to 12 more weeks of leave while not on TTD even after the Workers Comp disability ends and the usual return to work is offered to the employee.

Business Insurance recently published an article if the injured employee is not put on notice.   The Texas Supreme Court sided with the injured employee that a WC claim does not kick in the FMLA period.

A suggestion is the adjuster let the employer’s HR department know when the employee begins a period of TTD.   The FMLA requires very tight deadlines on providing the injured employee FMLA notice.

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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