What to Know If You Are Taking Time Off Work to Care for a Sick Relative

Are you taking some time off to care for your loved one? Well, you may be eligible for unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It mostly applies to all public agencies and private companies with 50 or more employees. 

Here is everything you need to know if you take time off work to help or care for a sick relative.


FMLA Is for Everyone (Not Just New Parents)

It is important to note that FMLA is not only for new parents. If you have a sick relative that needs your assistance, you can always employ FMLA. Eligible employees are entitled to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in 12 months for specified family and medical reasons. 

The law also requires employers to maintain the employee’s health benefits during the leave period.


The FMLA Doesn’t Cover Your In-Laws

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that provides certain protections for employees who need to take time off from work to care for a family member. The law only covers your spouse, children, parents, and siblings. The law does not cover your in-laws.


You Should Speak to Your Employer Beforehand

If you consider taking FMLA Missouri leave, you should speak to your employer before applying for the leave. This will help you understand your rights and your employer’s obligations under the law. 

While it is standard that the law will cover you, you must speak with your employer and let them know that your loved one is sick. They will then give you the go-ahead. 


You Must Prove That the Medical Condition is Serious

Taking time off work to care for a sick relative is difficult. It can be hard to know your rights and how much time you are entitled to take off. Before all this, you must prove that the medical condition is serious and that you are the only one who can help your loved one. You can do this by using medical billing documents, doctor’s reports, and other supporting documents. With this, if anything goes wrong, a lawyer can help you find justice. 


Your Employer Should Offer You a Job after Your Leave

Now that you have taken your leave, what are the conditions?

According to the FMLA, your employer should offer you the job back after the leave. It is beneficial for both parties as the employer will have an experienced employee who has been with them for a long time and knows their company culture. Having taken care of their loved ones, the employee will return to work without any difficulties.



We know that taking time off work to care for a sick relative is difficult. While you may want to do the right thing, you might wonder whether the law protects you. FMLA protects you. You only have to notify your employer and follow all the right steps. It gives you peace of mind as you take time off and care for your family. 

About Kanika Gautam 196 Articles
Kanika is an ardent writer and a serial blogger in addition to being the founder of yourmotivationguru.com where she writes about growing the happiness ratio of life. She is also a technologist, bibliophile, speaker, educator and writer.

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