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Caregivers have rights too…at least in some cases

Written by Diane Archer
We all know how hard being a caregiver can be. The financial, emotional an physical tolls are often enormous. Caregiving demands are likely to pull people away from their paid jobs. Thanks to the Family and Medical Leave Act, caregivers have rights.  And, it’s important to know your rights to balance work and family needs. In certain cases, you have the right to take up to twelve weeks unpaid leave from your job each year, without risk of losing that job or with the right to return to an equivalent job an benefits. If the care is for a family member with a serious illness, you do not need to take the time off in a block but can break it up (for example, take one day a week).
The Family and Medical Leave Act safeguards your job along with health insurance benefits, when these conditions are met.
  1. The employer is a federal, state or local agency, a school or a private company with more than 50 employees.
  2. You have worked for the employer for at least one full year and 1250 hours.
  3. Your spouse, child or parent has a serious medical conditions.
  4. You give 30 days notice.
Of course many of us will face caregiving demands and not qualify for the protections that the Family and Medical Leave Act offer. In those cases, speak with the human resources department at your job to see whether you can arrange a work schedule that better allows you to balance work and family caregiving needs.For more information , you can call the Family and Medical Leave hotline at 1-8000-959-FMLA.

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