How do you deal with an employer who is pushing you to make the choice between work and caring for an elderly loved one?

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I returned to work today after being out for two days with my mother in the hospital. As I came in I was given the lecture that it was our busy time and I needed to make a decision whether I could work and care fo my mother at the same time. My sister and brother live in other states so I don;t have anyone else to assist with mom's care. I presently have an agency providing in home care for mom while I am working. Unfortunately there is always a "crisis" either with mom or her caregivers. I know I will need to be with mom for some tests and doctor visits in the next few weeks. What do I do?

Answers 1 to 10 of 25
Top Answer
Remind your boss that the government protects your job with family leave time if you need it. They can work with you or work around you being gone. Actually, I'd like to see you drop your mom off at the boss' house for a week. Karma will win out and someday your boss will be ashamed. Hold your ground.
Whatttttttt. This says a lot about what your boss HAS NOT gone through. Some people just don't get it.

Jodi is right the government will protect your job and you are entitled to a 4 month family emergency leave. After that if you still need more time take unpaid if need be, but I suppose all may be well within 4 months.

Google that question and see what you come up with. Matter of fact, I think I'll google it myself. I love a good legal battle.
you should remind your boss of the Family Leave Act. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_and_Medical_Leave_Act_of_1993
as mentioned by the previous posters.
I agree with the responses given. You need to talk with your boss, remind him of your rights, and ask him how you two can work together. He has legitimate needs as well and one of them is to understand better what he can expect from you. Of course, a crisis or emergency cannot be foreseen, but you have to be sure it IS a crisis before you skip work. Regular appointments should be told to your boss in advance. You have rights and he may not ignore them, but asserting your rights and making him upset won't help you, either.
Unfortunately there are exceptions to the FMLA and it looks like you are one of them:

The federal FMLA does not apply to:

* workers in businesses with fewer than 50 employees (this threshold does not apply to public agency employers and local educational agencies);
* part-time workers who have worked less than 1,250 hours within the 12 months preceding the leave;
* workers who need time off to care for seriously ill domestic partners, children of domestic partners or seriously ill elderly relatives;
* workers who need time off to recover from short-term or common illness like a cold, or to care for a family member with a short-term illness; and
* workers who need time off for routine medical care, such as check-ups.

I ran into the same issue. I'm an only child and had to take time off when my parents took ill. They were in NJ and I was in CT. I had to move them into assisted living here in CT. My boss told me I had an "attendance problem". I'm sure that was a factor in the decision to vote me off the island when the company had a layoff. My female boss was much more lenient with a female coworker who took off nearly a month after her brother-in-law died because "her sister needed her".

I'm sorry to say that how your boss handles this is discretionary.
If the government that protects your job through "Family Leave" is the same government that will ensure you keep your health care when you lose your job--I don't think I would put my eggs in that basket. With unemployment running nearly 10% this is not the time to play "chicken" with your employer. Most likely your boss's future is in jeopardy too so he/she does not need any more intimidation from you or the government. The good news is that you are not alone in your predicament. Many folks who follow this site have dealt with similar problems and can help you find workable solutions. You need to be proactive in helping your boss find those solutions. For example, when you know in advance that you will need time off perhaps you can swap hours with a co-worker so that the boss has options rather than ultimatums. But regarding those crises with mom or her caregivers--you need to manage those. Perhaps you are enabling this behavior by being too eager to step in when they could work out the solution themselves if they had to?
I don't know if you have contacted your county Dept on Aging or other resources but they can help you on the home front without causing problems on the job front. And an honest discussion with your employer and co-workers will go a longer way toward finding a solution than will finger pointing. You should not assume that you are the only employee facing caregiver problems. What do your co-workers do with their children when school closes and day care has limited hours or costs too much?
Hi~ Based on the size of the company you are currently employed-The Family Leave Act-by the department of Labor perhaps can be helpful. There are certain requirements, however that must be followed-To learn more about this type in family leave act in the browser of you computer.
Unfortunately-business is business-and your employer seems quite harsh-that is until he is walking in your shoes-and able to relate.

By the way-as an alternative, have you considered using a day care center? In this manner you will be able to get to work, and your loved one will be taken care of..

Whatever the outcome-Good Luck-

Hap
Hello dear,
I reside in Singapore and here we do also sometimes get employers who are very one-sided and we also do have employers who are very compassionate.
What you may have to do is to have a good talk with your boss, and get him to understand your situation and that you are not doing it on purpose or without a thought for your work. Having elderly parents or young children would always put Moms in situations that they would have to handle them and you are the only one to look after your Mum. Perhaps, on days when you have to be away from work, you may suggest to him that if you have outstanding work, you would be willing to come in to complete it.
I am sure he has his family too and would perhaps understand your situation after this talk. I cannot fortell if the outcome would be favourable, hey, at least you tried.
I hope that somewhere inside your boss, there is a shred of decency and I hope that he realises that for anyone's business to flourish and grow they have to take care of their employees, and in turn he would have very loyal employees.
I wish you all the best and I hope that your Mom feels better soon.
God bless.
Thank you everyone for the suggestions. I have applied for FMLA and I should know something in the next 30 days. My HR department was pretty optimistic I would be approved. Thanks again because it was your information about FMLA that helped me to know where to go for assistance.
I hope you will listen to all who suggest you sit down with your boss. He has his concerns, too, and if you show they matter to you, you have a better chance of things working out for all.

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