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New Attention To Family And Caregiving Discrimination

Published by on June 19, 2008

Human Resource Executive Online had a recent article entitled Caregivers Unite on the new attention being given to family and caregiving discrimination.  The article is worth reading as an update on current trends in this area.  Given the increasing attention to family and caregiver discrimination, we are doing a refresher post on the topic today. […]

Human Resource Executive Online had a recent article entitled Caregivers Unite on the new attention being given to family and caregiving discrimination.  The article is worth reading as an update on current trends in this area.  Given the increasing attention to family and caregiver discrimination, we are doing a refresher post on the topic today.

The article follows-up on guidance issued by the EEOC in May 2007 entitled Unlawful Disparate Treatment of Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities.  HR professionals who are not up to speed on this topic should take the time to review the EEOC Guidance to see the different ways this issue comes up.  The EEOC also has a Q&A Fact Sheet on the topic here.  Washington Post coverage of the Guidance can be found here.

The EEOC’s synopsis of part of the guidance illustrates their view in regarding to this type of discrimination:

Part A discusses sex-based disparate treatment of female caregivers, focusing on sex-based stereotypes. Part B discusses stereotyping and other disparate treatment of pregnant workers. Part C discusses sex-based disparate treatment of male caregivers, such as the denial of childcare leave that is available to female workers. Part D discusses disparate treatment of women of color who have caregiving responsibilities. Part E discusses disparate treatment of a worker with caregiving responsibilities for an individual with a disability, such as a child or a parent. Finally, part F discusses harassment resulting in a hostile work environment for a worker with caregiving responsibilities.

A number of employment law and HR blogs have posted on this topic since the release of the EEOC Guidance:

The Pennsylvania Employment Law Blog had a post on the topic in October 2007 after a local newspaper suggested that it was lawful to ask applicants questions about family status and responsibilities.

The New York Employer Lawyer Blog has a post here.

The Connecticut Employment Law Blog has a post here about the unique state law provisions in Connecticut providing for leave to care for a family member.  This highlights the need for HR professionals and employment lawyers to be familiar with any nuances of your local law on this topic.

Workplace Prof Blog has a post here commenting on the WSJ article about the EEOC Guidance.

This brings us full circle to the recent amendments to the FMLA that grant leave to Military-Caregivers.  The Delaware Employment Law Blog has coverage here.

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