Thursday, May 2, 2013

N.C.Caregiver Relief Act

Bookmark and Share Legislation has again been introduced to provide relief for caregivers where leave from work would not be afforded to them under federal law.  The Caregiver Relief Act, filed by Senators Kinnaird, Parmon, and Bryant and Representatives Adams and Hall, would extend the protections of the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to allow eligible employees to care for a sibling, grandparent, grandchild, stepparent, or parent-in-law.  Should an employer offer FMLA benefits, the law allows for parent, spouse or child to take12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave.

2013 marks the 20th anniversary of FMLA and according to a fact sheet released this year by the NC Justice Center and NC Families Care, the FMLA is the "first and only legislation written specifically to help workers meet the dual responsibilities of family and work." 

The NC Chapters of the National MS Society recognize that the demands of caregiving are being shared by more and more family members and support Caregiver Relief Act.  Mary Bethel, Associate State Director for Advocacy for AARP North Carolina says it best, “Today’s reality is that we are a state of working family caregivers.”

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