Workplace Protections for Caregivers
by Stephanie Mensh
Balancing the demands of a full-time job and taking care of a stroke survivor or other family members can be difficult, even with the most understanding employer. Caregivers --male or female -- are protected from job discrimination resulting from real or perceived family commitments
Newly-released guidelines from the federal Equal Employment Opportunities Commission show that employers cannot give different treatment to caregivers during the hiring process, job reviews, work assignments, or promotions based on stereotypes of caregiving responsibilities.
I remember during an interview for a job found through networking, my potential supervisor -- who knew that Paul had had a stroke -- asked me how I would manage to travel, since I had to care for Paul. I was very proud of Paul's independence, and assured the supervisor that it would not be a problem. Although I got the job, I realized that discrimination against people with disabilities can impact the family as well.
Section E and F of the guidelines, and examples 17 and 20 relate directly to caregiver protections under the Americans with Disabilities Ac
For a copy of the new "Enforcement Guidance: Unlawful Disparate Treatment of Workers With Caregiving Responsibilities," visit the EEOC website, click here.
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