This report examines the growing trend in lawsuits filed by workers alleging they were discriminated against because of their family caregiving responsibilities. The cases included reveal gross biases and stereotypes against workers who have family caring responsibilities. Although caregiver discrimination case volume, frequency, and plaintiff awards have increased, norms defining an “ideal worker” have not changed as much as necessary to ensure fairness in the workplace. Even for companies with touted work-family programs, effective management of those programs and handling of workers’ caregiving responsibilities is an issue of risk management. The Center for WorkLife Law recommends that companies rethink their work-family policies and programs as part of a comprehensive workplace plan necessary to prevent and manage future legal risk.
Please click on the link above to access the full-text report.
“The Center for WorkLife Law is a nonprofit research and advocacy organization based at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law that takes a 360-degree approach, working with employees, employers, attorneys, unions, legislators, researchers, and the press to prevent and address the problem of family responsibilities discrimination.” Website includes numerous publications on FRD, as well as information on existing and pending public policy to address FRD.
“A Better Balance is a legal advocacy organization dedicated to empowering individuals to meet the conflicting demands of work and family. It has a project addressing family responsibilities discrimination against low-income workers in New York City.”
“Enforcement Guidance: Unlawful Disparate Treatment of Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities. This document provides guidance regarding unlawful disparate treatment under the federal EEO laws of workers with caregiving responsibilities.”
“This document supplements the 2007 guidance by providing suggestions for best practices that employers may adopt to reduce the chance of EEO violations against caregivers and to remove barriers to equal employment opportunity. Best practices are proactive measures that go beyond federal non-discrimination requirements.”
“A free resource for general information about employee rights laws in the United States. EmployeeIssues.com helps employees to help themselves and to better understand their employee rights under the related laws. EmployeeIssues.com has been serving employees since 2003.”
“Families and Work Institute (FWI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that studies the changing workforce, family and community. As a preeminent think-tank, FWI is known for being ahead of the curve, identifying emerging issues, and then conducting rigorous research that often challenges common wisdom, provides insight and knowledge, and inspires and leads to change.”
On September 25, 2008, Roberta D. Liebenberg, chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession talked about the commission’s latest efforts to help female lawyers achieve equality. Click on the video icon to see this clip.
On September 25, 2008, Co-author Joan C. Williams, law professor and co-director of the Project for Attorney Retention at University of California Hastings College of Law, discussed this new book that outlines a step-by-step process for unbiased performance evaluations. Click on the audio icon to hear this clip.
Description: On KQED’s Forum, Joan C. Williams and Heather Boushey discussed their report, The Three Faces of Work-Family Conflict: The Poor, the Professionals, and the Missing Middle. This new report from WorkLife Law at the University of California Hastings College of Law and the Center for American Progress, that work-family conflict is greater in the United States than anywhere in the developed world. This open forum focuses on the findings of the report, what it reveals about work-family conflict, and makes recommendations for reforms and policies to address the concerns of U.S. citizens. (52 min.)
Interviewer: Michael Krasny, KQED reporter
Interviewee: Heather Boushey, Senior Economist, Center of American Progress Joan C. Williams, Professor of Law, and Founding Director, WorkLife Law at UC Hastings College of Law