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Can I take time off work if my child is sick?

If you have a child who is suffering from a lengthy illness, it is very likely that it has been an upsetting time for you. You will want to provide your child with as much physical and emotional support that you possibly can, no matter the age of your child. However, you will also need to support your child financially by having job security.

Many parents do not fully understand their rights when it comes to taking unpaid leave from work in order to care for their sick child or close relative. While it is not legally required for employers to offer paid vacation time or paid sick leave, there are laws in place to ensure that employees can always take job-protected unpaid leave when it is necessary for them to do so.

What type of leave am I entitled to?

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees who are eligible have the legal right to be able to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave off in order to care for a member of their immediate family, for example, a child or spouse. However, in order to be qualified for this unpaid leave, the worker must have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours in the past 12 months of work. In addition, companies only need to adhere to the act if they have 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius of the employee in question.

If you need to take unpaid leave as a California worker, it is important to take the time to understand your rights.

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