Guidelines On Workplace Caregiver (Working Moms) Discrimination

Caregiver Discrimination Lawsuits Lead EEOC To Develop Current Discrimination Guidelines

There is nothing new about discrimination lawsuits being filed by pregnant women or working mothers in the United States.  As more women enter the workforce, the number of discrimination complaints has increased. Of course, this kind of discrimination is quite tricky to prove.

EEOC Guidelines Give Guidance On Workplace Caregiver Discrimination

Federal authorities have issued new guidelines regarding the mistreatment of working mothers and caregivers. Due to the increasing conflicts caregivers face between family and work, it is the hope of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that there is a decrease in this tricky kind of discrimination. The EEOC’s guidelines provide guidance on how best to review the evidence. These guidelines recognize when and how theories regarding traditional social roles can contravene prevailing laws that prohibit workplace discrimination.

According to the EEOC, this type of criminal bias is known as caregiver discrimination. The effects of this caregiver discrimination cause what the Commission notes as a “maternal wall” that limits caregivers’ employment opportunities. This bias typically encompasses the woman’s need to work while acting as the primary caregiver in the family.

Yes, male caregiver discrimination is also illegal. However, the EEOC initiative is primarily aimed at women because they’re the ones most likely affected by family duties. And, as a consequence, employers tend to view them as less committed than male counterparts – regardless of whether the perception is real or imagined.

The latest guidelines from the EEOC provide examples of evidence the Commission views as unlawful discrimination. When evaluating any caregiver bias claims, the Commission will look at several things including but not limited to:

1 – If an employer asked female applicants if they’re married or have kids
2 – If an employer made any stereotypical or derogatory statements about working moms or pregnant women.
3 – If their treatment of women is less favorable after disclosure of a pregnancy.

The EEOC notes that the problem is brought on by both the accidental and deliberate expectations employers tend to have. The Commission realizes that stereotypes regarding childcare and the impact of person’s commitment to the job are sometimes benign; but, still deems it illegal. According to the EEOC, any negative actions taken on sex stereotypes is a clear violation of the law even when the employer is not acting in a hostile manner.

What Can Employers Do To Ensure They Are Following The Law

Employers may be wondering what they can do to ensure they are following the letter of the law. The first thing they must do – regardless of the company size – is learn how gender roles will impact the decisions (regardless of whether it is male or female making the decision). The second thing they need to review for possible bias is parental leave, hiring and promotions by looking closely at managers’ attitudes and how choices they make will influence the decisions they come up with.

How To Combat This Type Of Discrimination

Businesses ought to put together a complaint and fact-finding technique that allow employees somewhere they can go if they feel they are being discriminated against.   The system along with the anti-discrimination training could help stave off lawsuits before they’re in the hands of a judge who will decide if a company did or did not discriminate against its employee.