EEOC Enforcement Guidance

May 31, 2007

The EEOC recently took proactive steps to address what it views as an emerging discrimination issue in the workplace.  Last week, the agency released an Enforcement Guidance focusing specifically on discrimination against workers with caregiving responsibilities.  Going forward, this indicates an area of increasing attention for the agency.  

While federal law does not specifically bar discrimination against caregivers, the Guidance spells out how existing laws prohibiting discrimination based on gender, pregnancy and disability also apply broadly to employees who are caregivers.  The Guidance, available online at www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/caregiving.html does not, however, create a new protected category in the workplace.  Rather, it illustrates how stereotyping or other forms of disparate treatment violate Title VII or the prohibition under the ADA against discrimination based on a worker's association with an individual with a disability.  

The new Guidance highlights a wide range of scenarios in which federal anti-discrimination laws apply, including:

With the release of this Enforcement Guidance, the EEOC is certain to place more emphasis on cases involving caregivers.  Employers should be certain that their policies and practices do not run afoul in this area.  If you have questions relating to this advisory, please feel free to contact any attorney in the Labor and Employment Department at Frost Brown Todd.

Additional Documents:

Practices

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