Accomidating parents in the workplace

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As a working family caregiver, knowing what rights you have at work in relation to your caregiving duties is key when discussion options with your employer.

In 1993, The United States Department of Labor established the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) with one ideal in mind: should you or a loved one get sick, injured, or otherwise require a high level of care, you shouldn’t have to fear losing your job.

Being a working family caregiver may demand that you work odd hours, need to take unexpected time off, or rush away from the office to go tend to your loved one during an emergency.

While caregivers should do their best to plan ahead and limit these interruptions, they can still occur.

The next doctor’s appointment, the next big project deadline, the next round of medication — these thoughts and tasks are always weighing upon the minds and hearts of working caregivers.

The level of constant, continuous output demanded by the caregiving role is extreme, and without exercising proper self-care, total burnout is a very real problem and an all too common outcome.

“Companies need to cultivate a culture that embraces leveraging technology as a means to achieving flexibility in work schedules and integrating work-family balance,” said Smooch R.

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They have no desire to be stuck at a desk with a manager constantly looking over their shoulder, and they don’t necessarily want to be working nine to five, said the report.

They know that technology can help them bring the office home and vice versa.

They also want to be working assisting on projects that align with their personal values.

FMLA allows workers, including family caregivers, the ability to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in order to tend to the needs of their loved ones, or themselves, during a time of injury or sickness.

In addition, FMLA prohibits supervisors and employers from threatening you should you seek to take time off to tend to your caregiving responsibilities.

People often come into their new role caregiving suddenly and unexpectedly, as a result of a loved one’s medical emergency, an accident, or wandering off from home.

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