My employer push me to take medical leave FMLA, can they do it?

My mom was diagnosed with liver cancer
back August. On October 22 she got into
emergency room. No-one spoke Russian
there and my mom only speaks Russian. I
stayestayed with her in the hospital
till Tuesday night. Today is Wednesday
and I need to be with my mom just to
make sure she is fine. My manager told
me in message over the phone she is
talking to HR to sign me up for FMLA. I
still have 4 days vacation left, but on
top of this. I believe those 3 days in
the hospital that I spend with my mom
should account as sick days not as
vacation days. It is very dramatized
time for me and I believe I can use as a
sick days, since I would not be able to
work at this comdition…i have a mental
break down… What is your thoughts
about it? Please help.

Asked on October 25, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

"Sick" days are only for when the *employee* is sick; they are not to care for others, even immediate family members. Even if you are under a great deal of stress, and that and worry would affect your work performance, you can't use sick days to care for your mother. To care for your mother, you have to use vacation days or unpaid FMLA leave.

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