Is the Family Medical Leave Act the same thing as short-term disability?

Asked almost 3 years ago - Redding, CA

I know employers are supposed to keep a position open because of it, but otherwise they seem like the same thing to me. Am I wrong?


Attorney answers (1)

  1. Michael Robert Kirschbaum

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . They are not the same thing. The FMLA (and its California equivalent, the California Family Rights Act), are laws which provide job protection for qualified employees for up to 12 weeks for such things as a serious personal injury or illness, baby bonding time or to take care of a close family member who is seriously ill. Employees who miss work while on FMLA/CRFA are not paid wages, once their accrued sick and vacation pay runs out, unless they qualify for SDI or short term disability.

    Short term disability is an insurance policy some employers provide to employees, as a fringe benefit, whereby the insurer will pay a portion of the employee's wage if the employee is unable to work due to an illness or injury which occurs during the coverage period. It is not a legally mandated program and there is no job protection because short term disability plans are not designed for that purpose. It does not apply when an employees needs to take time off to care for a sick family member.

    They say you get what you pay for, and this response is free, so take it for what it is worth. This is my opinion... more

Related Topics


Employment law governs employee pay, non-discrimination policies, employment classifications, and hiring and firing at the federal, state, and local levels.

FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) and employees

FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) is a law that requires employers to protect their employees' jobs if they take time off for medical reasons such as child birth.

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