If your aging parents or another loved one needs extra care, you may want to step up and become a caregiver. If you qualify for the Family and Medical Leave Act with your employer, you can take up to 12 weeks off to tend to your loved one without losing your position.
Forbes breaks down several essential facts about the FMLA that you should know. Protect your rights by learning more about the act’s legal intricacies.
You do not have to be a new parent
New parents are not the only ones who qualify for FMLA. You can take time off to tend to your own health condition or that of a spouse, child or parent. Do not get the impression that you must use sick days or vacation time to take time off and protect your job if you are not a new mother or father.
Your state or city could offer more help
Instead of the federal government, you may find that California or your city offers better coverage and protection for unpaid leave. Specifically, you could have more time off or take a leave of absence if you work for a small company.
You must know about familial restrictions
While you do not have to be a new parent to qualify for the FMLA, the act does not cover every family member. For instance, if you need to care for an adult child, stepparent, grandparent or sibling, you cannot take off under the FMLA. The law has a nuanced definition of family, narrowed to a spouse, minor child or parent. There are exceptions to this part of the act, such as if you need to care for a disabled adult child or guardian who raised you and provided financial support.