South-Western - Management  
Businesses Providing More Ways for Workers to Assist Aging Parents
Topic Managing Human Resource Systems
Key Words Sick days, Family Medical Leave Act
InfoTrac Reference A97217956
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News Story

A subtle shift is taking place in employees' requests for time off to take care of sick relatives. The "sandwich generation" consists of Baby Boomers caught between caring for their children and assisting aging parents, and it's having an impact on the workplace.

Businesses are finding ways to ease the stress caused by these mounting pressures. In 1993, the Family Medical Leave Act ensured job-protected leave for workers with a serious illness of their own or within their family. Some workers are now able to use PTO, or paid-time-off, for vacation, sick leave, child-care or elder-care. Others take unpaid family and medical leave. Options like adult day-care programs can often be paid for from flexible benefit accounts.

Employers understand that the increased flexibility and understanding results in more productive employees.

Questions
1.

What exactly does the Family Medical Leave Act do for employees? How much leave are employees entitled to, and do companies have to provide paid time off? Can an employee be denied FMLA leave?

2.

How is compliance monitored in companies?

Source "Businesses Providing More Ways for Workers to Assist Aging Parents," Business Record, January 20, 2003, p. 17.
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