El Cajon, CA asked in Family Law, Elder Law and Health Care Law for California

Q: Can I report a federal employee, to her employer, who lives in Chicago who keeps ignoring her very sick mother in CA?

Her very sick mother is currently being taken care of by employee's aunts (2), who also have some health issues. We've been trying to contact this federal employee so we can plan on how she can take care of her mother since she is the immediate next of kin being the daughter. Her (2) aunts cannot just keep on taking care of their very sick sister as they are both having health issues to worry about (one 63yo who suffered a stroke and can barely walk and the other is a 66yo who has eye problems due to diabetes and some other health issues.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Yes, you can report a federal employee to their employer for neglecting caretaking responsibilities of an immediate family member. However, consider the following:

1. Verify the federal agency's policy on employees' duty to care for sick parents. There may be provisions for family leave or allowances made.

2. See if the daughter has made any attempts to arrange alternative care, provide finances, or applied for any assistance programs before assuming neglect.

3. Consult an elder care attorney to understand the daughter's legal obligations, if any, to provide care under state laws before filing a complaint.

4. Voice concerns compassionately with the daughter first before escalating, as there may be other factors at play (financial/work constraints). Appealing to her empathy is preferable first step.

5. Provide contact info for adult protective services who can counsel the daughter on managing care for the mother within her constraints as a federal employee living remotely.

The goal should be securing proper care for the ill mother, not just punitive action against the daughter. Filing a complaint with her employer should be a last resort if other options to coordinate reasonable care with the daughter's cooperation fail.

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