Even with the Family and Medical Leave Act, parents of seriously ill kids, or those with disabilities that prevent them from being in school, face high hurdles. "Note that you don't have to take the 12 weeks all at once," explains 9to5's Linda Meric. "You can use them even in hour-long increments to take a child to a doctor's appointment. That, combined with short- or long-term disability coverage, may get you through."
Still, most of that time off is often unpaid -- which is why the Healthy Families Act (HFA) is so critical, explains Katie Bethell, spokesperson for MomsRising.org, a grassroots organization that champions family-friendly policies. To show your support for HFA, log on to MomsRising.org, sign the petition, and write to your representative or senator. "Health care is such a major hot-button issue right now," says Bethell. "We're hoping this is the year that parents finally get what they deserve."
Originally published in the September 2010 issue of Parents magazine.
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