Many employers are not recognizing family responsibilities discrimination when it happens in their workplaces, according to a new study issued today by the Center for WorkLife Law. Employers that are not familiar with the evolving legal protections for employees who care for family members are unable to prevent or remedy supervisors’ culpable conduct. When they get
Jill Traxler says that when she went out on leave to care for her mother, her supervisor in the Multnomah County government told her that her absences had caused a lot of things to be left undone and people had to cover her work while she was gone; she was terminated soon thereafter. Khaliq Drew
Sometimes it is easy to know if family responsibilities discrimination lurks in your workplace: you’ve been sued for pregnancy discrimination or FMLA retaliation or sex discrimination based on motherhood. Most times, it isn’t easy. Short of a lawsuit, what are the tip-offs that your workplace has a problem? Your company has a history of
Employment lawyers and HR professionals now have a go-to reference for issues involving employees with family caregiving obligations: Family Responsibilities Discrimination by Cynthia Thomas Calvert, Joan C. Williams, and Gary Phelan (Bloomberg BNA 2014). Just published, this first-of-its-kind legal treatise provides a comprehensive explanation of the rights and obligations of employers and employees when employees
Failing to accommodate pregnant employees, paying mothers less and harassing men who take family leave are going to draw the attention of the EEOC over the next several years. Here’s what employers can do now to avoid the agency’s spotlight. The EEOC approved a Strategic Enforcement Plan last month, laying out for employers the areas
Family responsibilities discrimination rarely springs from spite and malice. Almost always, as I point out in FRD prevention trainings, supervisors are trying to do the right thing for their companies and even for their employees when they cross the line into discriminatory action. Unfortunately, the road to the courthouse is paved with supervisors’ good intentions.
“There is a world of difference between caregiving and workplace flexibility,” Joan Williams, brilliant thinker and founder of the Center for WorkLife Law, told the EEOC last week. Her discussion focused on the very common misconception that family responsibilities discrimination is about alternative work schedules – a mistake so common that even Judge Preska of
In advance of the EEOC’s upcoming meeting on pregnancy and caregiver issues, I’ve been reviewing recent family responsibilities discrimination cases to see if things have changed since the EEOC issued its enforcement guidance on the topic in 2007. Sadly, I have to conclude that employers have made little progress toward eliminating FRD. Consider the following