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As a caregiver, what do you know about family leave?

Recently, you learned that a family member or loved one in Oklahoma has medical issues and needs a caregiver. You do not mind helping, but doing so means taking time off work. Do you know how the Family and Medical Leave Act works? 

Forbes provides several FMLA insights for employees in your situation. Determine if you can use the federal act to take care of your loved one. 

Not just for new parents

One essential fact about the FMLA is that it applies to tending to personal health complications and those of a parent, not just new parents who want to spend time with their children. With that in mind, you cannot use the federal law to take time off to care for a grandparent, sibling or adult child. Under the FMLA, the definition of “family” narrows to only include minor children, spouses and parents. 

State and city assistance

Even if you cannot take off under the FMLA to tend to a loved one, city or state law could help you. For instance, some state laws broaden the definition of family to include in-laws and grandparents, and some small business employees could take off through state law. Consulting with a legal professional could help you determine if recent state law allows you to take off work to care for someone other than a minor child, parent or spouse. 

Lagging employers

You could work for a company that does not offer paid leave for caregivers. Or, you may not have much paid leave, such as your company capping your leave at two weeks. A national raising of awareness seeks to make paid family leave more common among various companies, states and industries. 

Knowledge of federal law can help you keep your job and take care of your family. Proper knowledge also helps ensure that employers do not violate the FMLA.