Caring for a sick parent can be cause for extreme stress by itself. Add in family issues and work concerns, and the situation can become unbearable. However, there are options available to help ease the burden for caretakers during these tough times. One of these options is the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Ohio residents are covered by the FMLA, which allows employees to take leave under certain circumstances such as caring for a sick, elderly parent. FMLA leave lasts for 12 weeks, and at the end of that time, the employee can return to their previous position. While the leave is unpaid, it at least allows the opportunity to take time off from a job to become a caretaker.
However, there are certain conditions that must be met if one is to take advantage of FMLA leave time in Ohio. For instance, a person seeking to take leave must have held a position at their company for at least one year, worked 1,250 hours or more during the previous year, and must be employed by a company with at least 50 employees situated within a 75-mile radius. If these conditions are met, a person can take up to 12 weeks of leave during a 12-month period. You should contact an Ohio elder law attorney to determine if you qualify for FMLA.
As stated above, family medical leave in Ohio is unpaid. However, certain benefits are extended to anyone taking advantage of FMLA, including the continuation of health insurance benefits. Employees must still pay for their health insurance while on leave, but it will be for the same cost as if they were currently working in their position. In addition, any paid time off (PTO) a person accrues while working may be used during their FMLA leave, allowing them to collect at least some money while caring for an elderly parent or family member. Upon their return to work, the employee must be reinstated to their previous position or be given an equivalent position – however, there are certain exceptions to this rule. Please consult with an Ohio elder law attorney to discuss these exceptions and to determine if taking FMLA family leave is a viable solution for taking care of your elderly family member.
For more information about family medical leave and how to make the best choice for your elderly parent, please contact one of our offices to schedule an appointment:
Lancaster: (740) 653-3450
Dublin: (614) 495-4185
St. Clairsville: (740) 699-2193