Work and Caregiving: Caregiver’s Rights

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Work and Caregiving: Caregiver's Rights

The intention of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 was to allow employees time off for certain family events. This includes the birth and adoption of children and the care taking of aging parents. As a leading provider of senior care in Naples, we believe that it is important for all family caregivers to understand their individual rights and responsibilities under this act.

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave a year to take care of an immediate family member that has a serious illness. You have the right to choose when you take the unpaid leave to which you are entitled. This means you can take the 12 weeks consecutively or intermittently throughout the year as needed.  There are varying degrees of what is considered a serious illness, but the HR manager at your work should know what qualifies. All benefits have to remain active for the employee during this time and they have the right to return to the job and position that they had before taking the FMLA leave.

An employer is allowed to request that the employee exhausts their paid time off before dipping into the 12 weeks required by the FMLA. It is also within the employers’ rights to request a document from a physician outlining the seriousness of the illness.

To qualify for the FMLA leave, your business must have at least 50 employees and you must have worked at your job for a minimum of 12 months or 1,250 hours prior to taking the leave. Some state guidelines are more lenient than federal guidelines, but part-time employees will generally be able to take advantage of the FMLA thanks to this minimum hourly base.

Providing long-term care for an aging parent, grandparent or loved one can be exhausting both physically and emotionally. Make sure that you have the right support services in place and if you have additional questions about the FMLA, check out the Department of Labor’s FMLA Employee Guide here.

For other options for how to manage caregiving and work responsibilities, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Naples. We are a resource and support for seniors and their families and can help determine if part-time or live-in care would be beneficial for you and your aging loved one. In addition to help with daily activities, our expertly trained caregivers also provide dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and stroke home care in Naples. Call (239) 449-4701 to speak with a Care Manager and request a complimentary no-obligation consultation today.


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