My son is autistic. My mom has Alzheimer’s. My daughter was hospitalized for depression. I need to care for disabled family but I don’t want to lose my job

It’s a difficult situation for any parent caring for a disabled child or a child caring for a disabled parent. The constant juggling of both care needs and financial needs can be quite strenuous. Some of us are fortunate enough to have paid sick leave to care for disabled family. Some of us don’t have the luxury of sick leave. As caregivers and income providers we are sometimes forced to chose between work and family which is an incredibly sad state of affairs. However, many states have passed laws to relieve some of the pressure we often face while working and caring for disabled family.

Sick leave to care for disabled family

In Maryland, the Healthy Working Families Act went into effect on February 11, 2018. This law includes a Sick and Safe leave policy which includes 3 exciting provisions

  • Employers with 15 or more employees must provide at least an hour of sick and safe leave for employees that work 30 or more hours per week
  • Employers with fewer than 15 employees must allow an hour of  unpaid sick and safe leave for every 30 hours worked.
  • Both paid and unpaid leave will accrue at the rate of one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked.

Maryland Healthy Working Families Act

The MHWF was created to provide some relief and job security for family caregivers. According to the State of Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation sick and safe leave can be used under the following conditions

  • The employee’s or employee’s family mental or physical illness, injury, or condition
  • Preventative medical care for the employee or employee’s family member
  • Maternity or paternity leave
  • Domestic violence and sexual assault related care
  • Family members include spouse, child, parent, grandparent, or sibling

To read the full text of the Maryland Earned Sick and Safe Leave Employee Notice click here.

Click here for Maryland Sick and Safe Leave initial guidance.


Disabilities support jargon: What is LISS

Healthcare inequality. An ongoing discussion

Alzheimer’s jargon: What is sundowning?

Letter of Intent. An outline of care for your child or parent with a disability

SETH TALK: The social worker and the IEP parent

Autism symptoms. What do they look like?

Involuntary psychiatric treatment. A hard family decision



Interested in sharing your story? Click here to contact us about doing a SETH TALK.