Category Archive

2022 July

FMLA: Ensuring You Can Take Time Away

If you’ve been in the workforce for a while, it’s likely you have a set number of sick and vacation days. The average American worker has 7-8 paid sick days, but some years that just isn’t enough time. Between prolonged sickness, birth or adoption of a child, or family illness, you may need a longer block of time away from work.

In 1993, Congress recognized the need for extended time away from work and passed the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This act allows eligible employees to take up to 12 unpaid weeks off from work with the guarantee that they will be reinstated at the end of their leave or be given an equivalent position. It also guarantees that employees keep any benefits they had before the leave period began (for example, you would not lose your medical coverage if you had accrued it before taking leave). The FMLA applies to all public agencies, public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees.

There are multiple reasons one may qualify to take FMLA-covered leave (this list is not exhaustive, but a full list of requirements can be found HERE):

  • The birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child within one year
  • Taking care of an ill spouse, child, or parent
  • Being too ill to properly do one’s own job
  • Emergencies related to the employee’s spouse, child, or parent being a covered military member on active duty

Additionally, in order to be eligible, one must:

  • Have worked for their employer at least 12 months
  • Have worked at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months
  • Work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles

If you need to apply for FMLA, the best place to start is your company’s Human Resources department. They can let you know whether you are eligible and help you through the application process if you are.

Fact Sheet #28: The Family and Medical Leave Act | U.S. Department of Labor (

Private industry workers with sick leave benefits received 8 days per year at 20 years of service : The Economics Daily: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): The Basics | Bipartisan Policy Center

Not Just for Kids: Adult ADHD

Most of us knew a kid, often a boy, in elementary school who bounced off the walls, had trouble being quiet in class, and found homework impossible to finish. If this child were born in the 1980s or later, they might have been diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which the American Psychological Association first made a formal diagnosis in 1987.

However, the creation of the diagnosis did not mean that the disorder itself was new, nor that it was limited to children. Therefore, there has been a recent shift to addressing ADHD in adults. The symptoms often present differently and may include the following difficulties:

  • Maintaining attention
  • Executive function (properly managing time, priorities, and actions)
  • Physical restlessness
  • Forgetting/losing things
  • Being easily distracted
  • Completing lengthy tasks that involve sustained mental effort
  • Feeling overwhelmed

While most of us experience these difficulties from time to time, adults with ADHD tend to struggle often and severely. Unmanaged ADHD can lead to frustration and problems at work and home. Mounting research, including a 2021 review by the National Institutes of Health, shows that women especially tend to be underdiagnosed, particularly in childhood, as the symptoms of ADHD tend to manifest in women as inattentiveness rather than the hyperactivity many professionals and parents associate with male ADHD presentation.

If you recognize many of these symptoms in yourself and are interested in being assessed for ADHD, talk with your primary care doctor first. They will be able to address some of your concerns and refer you to a specialist if necessary. There are many options for management and treatment, including medication (stimulant and non-stimulant) and therapy. ADHD is not a personal failing, and there is never shame associated with seeking help for mental health.

The History of ADHD: A Timeline (
Overview – CHADD
NIMH » Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (
Women and Girls – CHADD

Pull In Case of Emergency

In an ideal world, life would be fairly predictable. We would all have a steady, guaranteed income and no blindsiding emergencies.

Unfortunately, life entails some measure of chaos. The last few years have been more unpredictable than ever, from a global pandemic that has lasted over two years to its ripple effects of unemployment, shifts in demand, and long-term illnesses.

Even if you’ve been fortunate enough to weather the pandemic with minimal financial disruption, accidents happen, cars break, and job markets change. Experts traditionally have recommended saving three to six months’ worth of income to cushion the impact of these unplanned occurrences.

That is admittedly an ambitious goal, especially if you are already experiencing financial difficulty (you’re not alone – according to a 2018 Federal Reserve report, roughly half of Americans said they’d struggle to afford a $400 emergency). If 3-6 months’ income is too daunting right now, instead aim to first save $500, and then build slowly on it. Adding a savings category to your budget is the best way to start this fund (click HERE for tips on efficient budgeting).

Once you have that $500+ in a savings account, consider a money market account or CD to help grow the nest egg. THIS site provides a calculator to help you determine how much you should try to save based on your current situation, as well as suggested accounts in which to put your savings. Even if you have to build this safety net slowly, every little bit helps.

Emergency Fund Calculator: How Much Will Protect You? – NerdWallet
How Much Money Should You Have Saved in Your Emergency Fund? (

Juice Cleanses: Are They Effective?

Whether through television, social media, or glowing celebrity endorsement, most of us have heard of juice cleanses.

The core concept is simple: for several days, you only consume fruit and vegetable juices in place of your regular diet. You can juice produce yourself or sign up for any number of services that will ship bottled, cold-pressed juices right to your door. Proponents of juice cleanses claim there are multiple benefits — namely weight loss and system detoxification. It sounds like an easy thing to do, but how accurate are these claims?

Many juice cleanse programs tout weight loss as a benefit. People can and do lose weight on juice cleanses, but the juice itself has very little, if anything to do with it. The weight loss comes from the calorie deficit caused by not eating solid foods for several days. People often regain this weight afterwards. Fruit juice is also high in sugar, which over time can cause the body to store rather than lose fat. This particular factor makes juice cleanses incredibly dangerous and not recommended for people with diabetes.

We eat more processed foods than ever, so detoxification is often a goal of juice cleanses. There is little evidence, however, that juice cleanses actually perform any detoxifying function. The human body is made to cleanse itself naturally over time via the diligent work of the liver and kidneys. Additionally, juice lacks crucial nutrients that the whole fruits provide, such as fiber. Cutting out other food entirely in favor of juice means you will also not consume enough protein, a nutrient your body needs.

Are there any benefits to drinking fruit and veggie juice? Yes. These juices contain high levels of vitamins and antioxidants that our bodies need to function. However, it is better to eat fruits and vegetables in their whole forms on a regular basis as part of a balanced diet. At the end of the day, juice cleanses just don’t live up to the hype.

Are Juice Cleanses Actually Good for You? | Houston Methodist On Health
What to Know Before Doing a Juice Cleanse or Juice Detox – Consumer Reports
“Detoxes” and “Cleanses”: What You Need To Know | NCCIH (