FMLA & Short-Term Disability

SESCO Management Consultants

  • The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees of employers with at least 50 employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period for specified family and medical reasons. The employer may elect to use the calendar year, a fixed 12-month leave or fiscal year, or a 12-month period prior to or after the commencement of leave as the 12-month period. FMLA contains provisions on employer coverage; employee eligibility; maintenance of health benefits during leave; job restoration after leave; notice and certification of the need for leave; and protection for employees who request or take FMLA leave.

  • Short-Term Disability (STD) is offered by private insurance companies to offer partial wage replacement while an employee is out of work due to a policy specific covered medical condition. STD does not provide job protection or maintenance of health benefits.

  • Because FMLA and STD serve different purposes, it is common for an employer to run FMLA and STD leave concurrently with each other when the reason for the need for FMLA relates to the employee’s own health condition. In fact, doing so is recommended so an employee may not take STD leave after FMLA leave has been exhausted. If the employee’s health condition is a FMLA-qualifying “serious health condition”, it will likely also be covered by STD.

  • When an employee’s need for FMLA leave relates to anything other than the employee’s own medical condition, STD will rarely be an option because that need will not be a covered benefit under the STD policy.

  • There is much to consider in determining FMLA eligibility and administering FMLA leave. Please do not hesitate to contact us with specific questions.

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