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Virginia Workers Compensation & the FMLA

Posted by attorney Gerald Lutkenhaus

As a Virginia Workers Compensation practitioner many of my clients want to know what job protection they have when they have an injury. The FMLA (the Family and Medical Leave Act) is a federal law that provides job protection for 90 days for any type of family emergency including an injury on the job. However, it only applies to large employers who have 50 or more employees.

Also, the employee has to have worked about 12 months for the employer for the FMLA coverage to apply. It is possible that the employer will provide greater rights than what is stated in the FMLA. An employee should always review his/her personnel manual for leave rights. Also, if the employee is a union employee, he/she can review the union contract. If the employee is a government employee, he/she may also have greater rights and should check with the HR department. Many employers will want to reinstate an injured employee. This is especially the case if the employee has been a valuable employee in the past. Also, if the employee can be reinstated, this can end workers' compensation payments (which may have a beneficial effect on the premium the employer pays for workers' compensation coverage.

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