Family Responsibilities Discrimination

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What Is Family Responsibilities Discrimination?

Another name for family responsibilities discrimination is caregiver discrimination. Many people have caregiving responsibilities. People often have to provide care for children, elders, or other sick adults in their families. When work responsibilities interfere with family responsibilities, it employees often choose to take time off to take care of their injured or sick family members. In many states though, employers are not legally permitted to discriminate against employees because of their caregiver responsibilities.

Family Responsibilities Discrimination is sometimes referred to as FRD. Examples of FRD include neglecting promote or hire people with caregiver responsibilities, or firing or demoting caregivers.

Are There Laws Against Family Responsibilities Discrimination?

Currently there is no federal law that uniformly prohibits FRD. Alaska and the District of Columbia have passed laws prohibiting any kind of discrimination in the workplace due to family obligations. Additionally, cities such as Atlanta and Tampa have also passed similar laws.

However, there are some federal protections under which employees who feel they are experiencing FRD can file claims. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, TItle VII, expressly prohibits any discrimination based on gender, and some FRD cases have been successful arguing that a woman was treated differently because she was a mother and therefore negatively stereotyped.

The Family and Medical Leave Act also regulates protections for expectant mothers and new mothers, who are entitled to some medical leave when their infants are newborn. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act also prohibits any discrimination against a woman who plans to become pregnant, wants to be pregnant, or is pregnant.

Can Plaintiffs Recover Remedies?

Yes. If your employer has violated state, local, or federal law and discriminated against a caregiver, the caregiver can recover monetary resources through legal channels. As with many civil litigation procedures, there is an opportunity to settle disputes in mediation or negotiations prior to going to court. This is a great place to seek remedies for FLD because court trials are very costly affairs that most people want to avoid at all costs.

Employers can defend themselves against FLD suits by giving reasonable accommodations to employees who need time off to render care to their family members. 

Do I Need a Lawyer?

Anyone engaged in a legal battle, or who has been illegally discriminated against, should seek legal counsel from an attorney immediately. An employment lawyer will help you make your best case and represent you during settlement negotiations and in court.

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Last Modified: 07-13-2016 09:25 AM PDT

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