Perhaps your widowed mother has recently been diagnosed with a serious medical condition. She will require help as she goes through a treatment regimen.
You and your spouse have full-time jobs and you also have two young children to look after. Still, you wish to take care of your mom, but will your employer allow you time off from work? What about the FMLA law?
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act or FMLA, you may take unpaid time off work for up to 12 weeks a year so as to provide care for a close relative with a serious health condition: your spouse, your child, your mother or father. You may qualify for FMLA coverage if you have a job in the public sector or work for a company with at least 50 employees. Additionally, you must have logged at least 24 hours a week for your employer during the past 12 months.
If possible, you should give 30 days’ notice of the need to provide care. Your employer must advise you of your rights under the FMLA law and offer you time off to look after your mother. He or she has a right to request documentation from a healthcare provider that verifies your mother’s diagnosis and need for a caregiver. Your employer cannot threaten you or make your job more difficult because of your request for leave.
A look ahead
Some states have approved paid FMLA leave with employees receiving up to 95% of their regular pay. In the state of Connecticut, January 1, 2022, is the date for these benefits to begin.