Caretaking responsibilities can require a lot of time and mental aptitude. Trying to juggle your job on top of helping an injured or ill loved one could increase your stress significantly.
When you understand which circumstances FMLA laws cover, you can take full advantage of your rights and protections. With adequate support, you can care for the people that matter without jeopardizing your job.
Addressing ongoing medical needs
There are several reasons why you might need to ask for time away from work to help a loved one. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the definition of a serious health condition under FMLA law includes the following situations:
- You or a loved one require ongoing care from a medical provider
- You or a loved one require treatment at an inpatient facility
- You or a loved one require hospice care
Oftentimes, helping a loved one in a critical situation requires you to make decisions on their behalf, as well as offer insight and support. This could demand a great deal of your attention making it challenging for you to focus and work productively at your job.
Communicating with your employer
If a need arises where you need to step away from your job to provide assistance, you should actively communicate the situation to your employer. Keep them informed of updates and your intentions for returning to work. If higher-ups retaliate against you such as demoting you or cutting your hours, remind them of the protections provided by the FMLA laws. Despite the circumstances, so long as your situation meets the requirements listed in FMLA protections, you have the right to take time off work to address personal circumstances.