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The rights of a special needs parent

Being a parent is a full-time job, and it requires that you are available for the needs of your child or children at any hour of the day. However, when you are the parent of a special needs child, you will understand the intensity of the responsibilities you have.

When you have a day job as well as the responsibility of taking care of a special needs child, you will know that sometimes your child's care needs to take priority. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) makes sure that all parents and caregivers have the right to unpaid leave without discrimination when they need to take care of a family member.

What protections do I have as a parent of a special needs child?

As the parent of a child with special needs, you have the right to unpaid medical leave when it is necessary to take care of your child. Notice of this unpaid leave should be given to your employer in a reasonable manner; however, in emergency situations, advance notice does not need to be given.

As a parent who may need to take unpaid family medical leave, you have full protection from discrimination. This means that you cannot be fired or demoted as a result of you needing to take leave in order to take care of your child. Similarly, you cannot be assigned less rewarding work as a form of retaliation.

If you are the parent of a special needs child in California and would like to learn more about your rights, an attorney can help.

Source: Friendship Circle, "Know Your Rights as an Employee And Special Needs Parent," accessed April 26, 2018

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