Case Study: Ramji v. Hosp. Housekeeping Sys., LLC
This case is about the intersection between the Family Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") and state workers' compensation laws. The FMLA entitles eligible workers who need to recover from a serious injury to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave. Separately, most states1 require employers to provide their employees with workers' compensation insurance benefits, which allow employees injured in work-related incidents to receive medical care and lost wages.
In this case, an employer sought to use workers' compensation as a shield against the FMLA. After a work-related injury, the employer told the employee nothing about her rights under the FMLA, instead handling the injury solely as a workers' compensation claim. Because the employee failed to demonstrate ability to continue doing the job, she was terminated and given unemployment compensation, without her being aware of her right to take 12 weeks off under the FMLA.
The court had to analyze the extent to which an employer could proceed under the FMLA or workers compensation rules, or whether it had to proceed under both simultaneously.
The case can be found here: