Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

Finding a Way to Be a Good Sister and Not Go Broke

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: I have only worked at my new job for 8 months, and company policy is you have to be on the job for 12 months before you get any paid time off.

My older sister is having her second baby in early December and she has already asked if I can help her for a few days after the baby is born. Because it will be a C-section delivery (like her first one was) she is figuring on needing extra help, and her husband, who travels a lot for his own business, is already locked into an important trip a few days after she’s expecting her C-section to be scheduled.

I support myself and really can’t afford to take much, if any, unpaid time off, but I also want to be there for my sister. I know it will mean a lot to her. What do I do? --- TRYING TO BE A GOOD SISTER

DEAR TRYING: There could be solutions available to you, but you need to run them by your HR department and/or boss.

Many companies will advance you personal time, taking it from your first accrued PTO allotment. You might have to jump through some hoops to apply for it, so don’t wait too long to ask.

Another option may be to see if you’d be allowed to formally or informally flex your hours or bank some overtime as comp time. This might only work for the pay periods surrounding your visit to your sister, but if it’s a possibility, it could reduce your amount of unpaid time off, if that’s what you end up having to take.

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