Caregiving is a work-life issue that our counselors deal with often – it can be a terrible burden to juggle the responsibilities of a full-time job while caring for an elderly or a disabled family member. There are some family responsibilities that can be scheduled or deferred to another time, but caregiving is not one of them. It entails immediacy and urgency, and the weight of the responsibility means that caregivers are a population at risk.
As part of a push to support family-friendly workplaces, The EEOC has recently been focusing on caregiver discrimination and has issued a technical document giving guidance to employers on best practices related to caregiving employees. Melissa Turley of Human Resource Executive notes that although caregivers are not a protected class, “Discriminating against caregivers, however, could result in Title VII, FMLA or ADA claims.” She offers a summary of best practices.
Mark Toth at Manpower Employment Blawg also offers a great summary of the EEOC’s Caregiver Best Practices. After polling readers, he learned the the number one employment law headache was identified as medical leave. In response to this, he is developing a series of cheat sheets on various laws relating to medical leave. This week, he issued an FMLA cheat sheet.