Courts Split On FMLA Ruling Affecting Injured Workers

By Michael A. Verespej It's likely that the U.S. Supreme Court will need to intervene and decide whether companies are required to notify workers on an extended leave because of a work-related injury that such a leave falls under the scope of Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provisions. Two companies have challenged Dept. of Labor (DOL) contentions that they must give injured workers on leave an additional 12 weeks off under FMLA if they failed to notify them of potential FMLA coverage. While the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the 6th District upheld those DOL regulations, appellate courts in the 8th and 11th districts have ruled otherwise. They argue that employers do not need to give employees the additional leave simply because the DOL regulations are inconsistent with the Congressional language that created the FMLA.

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