Watch Out for Caregiver Discrimination
Family responsibility discrimination, also known as caregiver discrimination, occurs when employers discriminate against employees and job applicants based on their caregiving obligations — generally for children, adult children with disabilities, parents, or spouses.
“If this wasn’t on employers’ radar before, it’s something they should absolutely think about and educate themselves on because the reality is that more and more people will be, for example, taking care of aging parents,” says Jamie Dokovna, a shareholder in the Florida law firm Becker & Poliakoff who practices employment law and works in the community association arena.
FRD frequently stems from antiquated notions about gender roles. “Maybe a female employee is talking about expanding her family and about her caregiving responsibilities for other children,” Dokovna says. “An employer might think, ‘I don’t know if she’s going to have the bandwidth to do the job going forward.’
“Or an employer might not give a raise or promotion to a man with childcare responsibilities because the employer thinks that should be his partner’s responsibility.”
An employment action can be unlawfully discriminatory even if when done with good intentions — for example, when a supervisor doesn’t offer overtime to a mother because he knows she needs to pick up her child from daycare at a certain time.
Read the full story now for additional examples of family responsibility discrimination and strategies to protect yourself: