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Have questions about family responsibilities discrimination? Want to discuss how we can help protect your company?  Call us at 410-480-4882, or contact us online

What is FRD?

Family Responsibilities Discrimination, or FRD, is employment discrimination against workers who have family caregiving responsibilities.  It covers mothers and fathers of young children, pregnant women, and workers who care for sick spouses or partners or aging parents.  It is also known as “caregiver discrimination.”  Some examples of FRD include:

Companies are facing increasing liability from FRD, with some verdicts in the millions.  The number of claims filed with the EEOC is growing.  Experts predict that changes in the workforce mean more caregivers will be working, and say companies need to take action to protect their bottom line by preventing FRD.

Learn more about FRD so you can protect your company:

FRD Prevention Tip

Family responsibilities discrimination usually arises because of unconscious beliefs or biases about how workers will or should act if they have family caregiving responsibilities.  Examples include:  mothers of young children aren’t committed to their jobs, fathers who stay at home with sick children are not management material, and a parent of a child with a disability will not be dependable.  Supervisors often are not aware that they have these beliefs or biases, and yet they are influenced by them when they make personnel decisions.  Who should get a training opportunity, get promoted, get a raise?  Maybe not the caregivers.

Fortunately, supervisors can put the brakes on unconscious beliefs and bias.  One of the most effective ways employers can prevent FRD is to provide training for supervisors about what bias is, how it plays out in the workplace, why it is bad for business, how it can lead to lawsuits, and how it can be overcome. 

Here’s a key tip from our training for supervisors:  Bias has the most influence over decisions when we don’t know something or someone and we make assumptions.  Become aware of the assumptions you make about your employees, and before you make a decision that affects them, ask yourself how you know what you think you know.  For example, if you aren’t giving a mother assignments that involve travel, ask yourself how you know she doesn’t want to travel.  Bonus tip:  assignments that involve travel are often desirable “stretch” assignments, and a mother may want them as much as anyone.  How to know?  Just ask!

Prevent family responsibilities discrimination.  Call us today at 410-480-4882 to discuss training and other solutions to protect your business.