Are California Employees Protected from Family Responsibilities Discrimination?

First things first: what is family responsibilities discrimination (FRD)? FRD is also known as caregiver discrimination. It occurs when employers discriminate against employees based on their family caregiving responsibility. It may include discrimination against pregnant women, mothers and fathers of newborns and employees who take care of aging parents. Additionally, it may also include eldercare discrimination. The consequences of this discrimination can be severe. For example, workers who experience FRD may miss out on better job opportunities or promotions. Additionally, they may suffer harassment or even be wrongfully terminated.

There is no overarching federal law prohibiting FRD. However, depending on the form of discrimination suffered, several laws challenge employment decisions. Unfortunately, there are not as many laws protecting employees experiencing eldercare discrimination as with other forms of FRD, like pregnancy discrimination.

What Are My Rights Against Eldercare Discrimination or Family Responsibilities Discrimination?

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, employees that worked for a government employer or a private employer with more than 50 employees for at least 12 months may take 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for parents with serious health conditions.

Under an amended version of the Americans with Disabilities Act, employees receive protection from discrimination based on association with disabled people. However, employees do not have to give any special accommodations to these employees. Thus, this makes the protection fairly weak.

Were you denied a job, fired, demoted or harassed because of your family responsibilities? If so, then your best course of action is to discuss your case with an employment law attorney. It is possible that your employer violated the law. If so, you may receive damages for your troubles.