On April 22, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) offered employers new guidance and best practices on avoiding discrimination against workers with caregiving responsibilities. The best practices document is available online at www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/caregiver-best-practices.html and illustrates proactive measures employers can take that go beyond federal non-discrimination requirements.
It supplements a 2007 EEOC guidance document on unlawful disparate treatment of employees/caregivers. The new guidance suggests language for a written policy addressing caregiver protection and offers best practices in recruitment, hiring, promotion, and terms and conditions of employment.
The best practices include the following:
- — Educate managers on legal obligations toward workers with caregiving responsibilities under laws that include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
- — Identify and remove barriers to reentry into the workforce for those who have taken leave for caregiving reasons.
- — Monitor compensation practices and performance evaluation systems for patterns of potential discrimination against caregivers.
The EEOC issued the best practices in conjunction with a panel discussion held April 22 on the importance of protecting caregivers/employees during the current economic downturn. Information on the panelists and their prepared testimony is available at www.eeoc.gov/abouteeoc/meetings/4-22-09/index.html.
Get an insider’s look at EEOC guidelines on caregivers from former EEOC Vice Chair Leslie E. Silverman and employment-labor law attorney Adria B. Martinelli via the audio conference recording on CD, “EEOC Guidance on Working Parents and Caregivers: New Risks for Discrimination Litigation.”