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EEOC Releases Technical Assistance on Caregiver Discrimination

2022-03-14

Employer’s assumptions or stereotypes about caregiver responsibilities can result in illegal discrimination

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a technical assistance document, “the COVID-19 Pandemic and Caregiver Discrimination Under Federal Employment Discrimination Law,” and updated its COVID-19 “What You Should Know” tool.  The two documents identify how discrimination against applicants or employees with caregiving responsibilities can violate EEO laws when based on a protected characteristic. 

Employee’s responsibilities as caregivers have changed significantly since the pandemic and assumptions made by employers that these obligations have ended could be harmful to the employee.  Employers making assumptions or applying stereotypes about caregivers may result in illegal discrimination if those assumptions result in employment decisions based on a protected characteristic. 

EEOC’s resources and guidance provides pandemic-related examples of discrimination against caregivers.  It also addresses situations where caregivers may encounter illegal harassment, retaliation, or discrimination based on pregnancy, gender, association with someone with a disability, or other protected bases.

EEOC has also released a short video explaining caregiver discrimination in English and Spanish, policy guidance, an associated fact sheet, and an employer best practices document.   

The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of Workplace Dynamics LLC and is not being represented as being all-inclusive or complete. It has been abridged from legislation, administrative ruling, agency directives, and other information provided by the government. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel.