Caregiver Responsibility Discrimination and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Eeoc) Guidelines: Policy and Practice Issues for Employers

By Calvasina, Gerald E.; Calvasina, Richard V. et al. | Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues, July 1, 2010 | Go to article overview

Caregiver Responsibility Discrimination and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Eeoc) Guidelines: Policy and Practice Issues for Employers


Calvasina, Gerald E., Calvasina, Richard V., Calvasina, Eugene J., Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues


ABSTRACT

In May of 2007 in response to a perceived "potential for greater discrimination against working parents and others with caregiving responsibilities", the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new enforcement guidance addressing Unlawful Disparate Treatment of Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities (EEOC-A, 2007). On April 22, 2009, the EEOC issued additional guidance to employers, Employer Best Practices for Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities, offering "proactive measures that go beyond federal non-discrimination requirements" (EEOC B, 2009). These guidelines are designed to reduce employers' exposure to litigation for "violations against caregivers, and to remove barriers to equal employment opportunity" (EEOC B, 2009). This paper examines the initial guidance provided by the EEOC with respect to individuals with caregiving responsibilities, recent court cases involving the issue, and the best practices suggestions recently issued by the EEOC.

INTRODUCTION

In May of 2007 in response to a perceived "potential for greater discrimination against working parents and others with caregiving responsibilities", the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new enforcement guidance addressing Unlawful Disparate Treatment of Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities (EEOC-A, 2007). On April 22, 2009, the EEOC issued additional guidance to employers offering "proactive measures that go beyond federal non-discrimination requirements" designed to reduce employers' exposure to litigation for "violations against caregivers, and to remove barriers to equal employment opportunity" (EEOC B, 2009).

What is unlawful disparate treatment of workers with caregiving responsibilities? While there are no federal statutes that prohibit discrimination based "solely" on parental or other caregiver status, unlawful disparate treatment arises when an employee with caregiving responsibilities is subjected to discrimination based on a protected characteristic under federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) law (EEOC A, 2007). The enforcement guidance from the EEOC provides a number of examples of circumstances under which discrimination against caregivers may violate federal EEO law (See Exhibit 1).

Exhibit 1 Examples of Circumstances that may Violate Federal EEO Law

* Treating male caregivers more favorably than female caregivers: Denying women with young children an employment opportunity that is available to men with young children.

* Sex-based stereotyping of working women:

* Reassigning a woman to less desirable projects based on the assumption that, as a new mother, she will be less committed to her job.

* Reducing a female employee' s workload after she assumes full-time care of her niece and nephew based on the assumption that, as a female caregiver, she will not want to work overtime.

* Subjective decision making: Lowering subj ective evaluations of a female employee' s work performance after she becomes the primary caregiver of her grandchildren, despite the absence of an actual decline in work performance.

* Assumptions ab out pregnant workers: Limiting a pregnant worker' s job dutiesbased on pregnancy-related stereotypes.

* Discrimination against working fathers: Denying a male caregiver leave to care for an infant under circumstances where such leave would be granted to a female caregiver.

* Discrimination against women of color: Reassigning a Latina worker to a lowerpaying position after she becomes pregnant.

* Stereotyping based on association with an individual with a disability: Refusing to hire a worker who is a single parent of a child with a disability based on the assumption that caregiving responsibilities will make the worker unreliable.

* Hostile work environment affecting caregivers:

* Subjecting a female worker to severe or pervasive harassment because she is a mother with young children. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Caregiver Responsibility Discrimination and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Eeoc) Guidelines: Policy and Practice Issues for Employers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.