EEOC Issues Discrimination Avoidance Best Practices Document

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a document on best practices to avoid discrimination against workers with caregiving responsibilities, and held a public meeting to discuss the importance of policies that protect caregivers in an economic downturn on April 22.

The technical assistance document, titled "Employer Best Practices for Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities," is available here. The best practices document supplements "Unlawful Disparate Treatment of Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities," a guidance document issued by EEOC in 2007 (available here) that examines how federal anti-discrimination laws apply to workers with caregiving responsibilities.

"Today we take another step forward, articulating not just the bare minimum required to avoid unlawful discrimination, but also thinking broadly about the ways in which family-friendly workplace policies can improve workers' ability to balance caregiving responsibilities with work," said Stuart J. Ishimaru, EEOC acting chairman.

The document provides recommendations for workplace policies aimed at removing barriers to equal employment opportunity for workers with caregiving responsibilities. Examples include personal or sick leave policies that allow employees to use leave to care for ill family members, flexible work arrangements, part-time opportunities with proportional compensation and benefits, and equal-opportunity policies that address unlawful discrimination against caregivers.

In addition to issuing the new document, EEOC heard from expert panelists who discussed the importance of implementing or maintaining caregiver-friendly workplace policies, particularly during an economic recession.

Heather Boushey, senior economist at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, observed, "The poor economy and lack of job creation means that families will need to ensure that they do what they can to keep parents working. The impact of family responsibility discrimination on family well-being is potentially more devastating than ever before."

Boushey noted that men have lost four out of five jobs during this recession, leaving working mothers as many families' sole breadwinners. "Families will increasingly rely on women's earnings, which are typically lower than men's and are less likely to come with health insurance," she said.

In addition to Boushey, panelists included: Cynthia Calvert, deputy director of the Center for WorkLife Law; Karen Minatelli, director of Work and Family Programs for the National Partnership for Women and Families; and Jeff Norris, president of the Equal Employment Advisory Council.

All panelists' prepared testimony are available at www.eeoc.gov/abouteeoc/meetings/4-22-09/index.html.

Download Center

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide

    Use this handy buyer's guide to learn the basics of selecting online safety training and how to use it at your workplace.

  • COVID Return-to-Work Checklist, Fall 2021

    Use this checklist as an aid to help your organization return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe and healthy manner.

  • SDS Buyer's Guide

    Learn to make informed decisions while searching for SDS Management Software.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Industry Safe

Featured Whitepapers

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2021

    November December 2021

    Featuring:

    • GAS DETECTION
      How to Streamline Gas Detector Maintenance
    • OSHA TOP 10
      OSHA's Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for FY 2021
    • PROTECTIVE APPAREL
      How PPE Can Help You Deal with the Harsh Condition of Winter
    • HEARING PROTECTION
      Tackling Hearing Protection in the Workplace
    View This Issue