Many American workers juggle their careers with a busy parenting and caregiving schedule. A worker compensation attorney in McHenry sees many families affected by the stress of a job-related injury before or after a period of medical leave. The Family and Medical Leave Act is designed to help American employees by providing time off work for important family events and medical difficulties. This legislation functions together with Illinois workers’ compensation law to guarantee full coverage in a wide range of situations.
According to the Pew Research Center, more than 50 percent of working parents said in 2012 that they found it difficult to balance the constant responsibilities of home and work. Many American families are additionally affected by the stress of a workplace injury before, during and or after a period of family leave.
How does the Family and Medical Leave Act work?
This important act was passed in 1993. It requires employers to grant time off work in all of the following situations:
- Childbirth and postpartum recovery
- Caring for a newborn
- Caring for a disabled child, spouse or parent
- Absence due to a serious health problem
According to the Act, all employers must offer complete leave or a reduced schedule to workers facing these conditions. Full-time workers typically get 12 weeks of leave. Part-time workers are granted leave on a pro rata basis.
Is FMLA leave paid?
FMLA leave is unpaid. The employer is under no obligation to provide any compensation during a period of complete leave. A reduced schedule will also lead to reduced pay. Despite these gaps in pay, every worker has the right to return to his or her previous job without discrimination or penalty after the period of leave is over.
How does FMLA leave interact with Illinois workers’ compensation?
A worker compensation attorney in McHenry is often asked how FMLA leave interacts with Illinois benefits for injured workers. This leave is fully compatible with workers’ compensation benefits. When employees are forced to take time off because of work-related injury, they have the right to collect workers’ compensation during their unpaid FMLA leave. This compensation may not be used against them when they seek to return to their original job. Consequently, they must be given an identical or equivalent position in the workplace as soon as they are able to return.
The Family and Medical Leave act offers protection to injured workers and employees who are facing a family crisis or the birth of a new child. Parents and caregivers may find it useful to contact a worker compensation attorney in McHenry to understand their rights.