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WC and FMLA in Ohio

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  • WC and FMLA in Ohio

    If as an ER, I wanted to be sure that, at the inception of an approved W/C claim, the EE was placed on Family Medical Leave, what challenges, if any, would I face in Ohio?

    Does the State have a notification mechanism to the ER or to the agent of an ER (who may handle FMLA Leave), so that the ER would know about the claim's acceptance as valid and then take steps to ensure that the EE is placed on FMLA simultaneously?

    Is there anything in this State that would restrict an ER from requiring and EE to begin using FMLA leave in this case?

    Thank you!

  • #2
    I cant answer specifically for Ohio but virtually everyone I know runs FMLA concurrently with WC.
    I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
    Thomas Jefferson

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    • #3
      Just be careful...even an "invalid" workers compensation claim could fall under FMLA. Even if your WC carrier/state refuses to cover for one reason or another. That just means it doesn't fall under the employer's responsibility. Don't make the assumption that one always coincides with the other.

      For example, say an ee got hurt outside work, came to work in the morning and immediately "got injured" and claimed it was through work (so that medical bills and timeoff would be paid through WC). He goes to the hospital, is admitted and has surgery. The employer/WC carrier find out about the activity outside work. The employee would NOT be eligible for WC, but WOULD be eligible for FMLA because of his "serious medical condition" regardless of where it happened.

      I would not wait on the state to notify you of WC eligibility to start pursuing the time off as FMLA. I would suspect you as an employer should know way before you get notices from the state/carrier. But yes, most employers run WC and FMLA simultaneously.

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      • #4
        If as an ER, I wanted to be sure that, at the inception of an approved W/C claim, the EE was placed on Family Medical Leave, what challenges, if any, would I face in Ohio? None. If an employees has a "serious medical condition" as defined in the FMLA, then it qualifies for FMLA leave. Doesn't matter one whit if the injury or illness is work related.


        Does the State have a notification mechanism to the ER or to the agent of an ER (who may handle FMLA Leave), so that the ER would know about the claim's acceptance as valid and then take steps to ensure that the EE is placed on FMLA simultaneously? As always with the FMLA, the employer is required to make their own assessment regarding the legitimacy of FMLA leave, provided the employee provides the necessary medical documentation. No, the State does not notify the employer about any of this. Follow your WC injury reporting process as usual (including any investigation into the causation/claim you normally would.) Concurrent with that, you place the employee on FMLA as supported by medical statements.

        Is there anything in this State that would restrict an ER from requiring and EE to begin using FMLA leave in this case? No.

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        • #5
          1. How are leaves covered under the FMLA and workers’ compensation statutes and how much time off is required?
          2. When is a WC injury covered under the FMLA?
          3. Should WC leaves be treated separately from other types of leaves?
          4. Should the employer give the employee any special notification under the FMLA?
          5. Does an employer have to pay for health insurance for an employee on WC leave?
          6. Can an employee on WC leave be required to use vacation or sicK leave?
          7. If the employee is released to light duty, can he be required to return to work?
          8. Does the employer have to reinstate an employee returning from a WC leave?
          Prevent Legal Headaches: Count WC Leave as FMLA
          The above and more are answered here http://www.ppspublishers.com/articles/fmla.htm

          ER's are permitted to run FMLA and WC leave concurrently, as long as the EE/IW is notified in writing of the intent...
          When is a WC injury covered under the FMLA?

          If the employee is eligible for leave under the FMLA and the injury is considered a "serious health condition," the WC leave should be treated under the FMLA. The FMLA defines serious health condition broadly to include any "illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves" either inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider. The statute does not distinguish between work-related and nonwork-related injuries. Thus, any on-the-job injury that requires an employee to take leave to seek inpatient care or continuing treatment likely will be covered by the FMLA.

          Accordingly, whenever an employee is injured on the job and needs time off to recover, the employer immediately should determine if the employee also is eligible for leave under the FMLA. If the employee is eligible for FMLA leave, the employer should notify the employee in writing that the leave is covered under the FMLA so that the leave time may be counted against the employee’s 12-week FMLA entitlement. If the employer does not run the WC leave concurrently with the FMLA leave, the employee may still have the full 12-week FMLA entitlement available to use after the WC leave.
          4. Should the employer give the employee any special notification under the FMLA?

          In order to deduct the time spent on WC leave from an employee’s annual FMLA leave entitlement, the employer must notify the employee in writing that the WC leave is designated as FMLA leave and will count against, and run concurrently with, the employee’s 12-week entitlement. The notice to the employee must detail the specific obligations of the employee while on FMLA leave and explain the consequences of a failure to meet these obligations. Most employers use the Department of Labor’s Form WH-381 to comply with these notice requirements. If the employer does not provide the notice, it cannot count the WC leave towards the 12-week FMLA entitlement. Therefore, the employee may be entitled to an additional 12 weeks of FMLA leave at a later date.

          If the employee has been on WC leave without being placed specifically on FMLA leave, the employer should send notice to the employee immediately so that the FMLA clock starts running. However, the employer may then only designate the leave from the date written notice to the employee is provided. It cannot retroactively designate the time spent on WC leave against the FMLA entitlement.

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