Family responsibilities discrimination, also known as FRD, is when an employee is discriminated against because they have to care for a family member. Though most people think about working parents, you may also be facing family responsibilities discrimination if you are caring for your aging parents or a spouse with a serious medical condition. You may also be discriminated against if you have a child who has a serious medical condition that may interfere with your work.
What does family responsibilities discrimination look like?
Not being flexible with your schedule. As a primary caretaker, you may struggle to work the nine-to-five schedule that you were used to. You may need to get off early some days or come in late. Your job should be flexible so that you can get your work done, while still making sure that your responsibilities are being taken care of.
Losing a promotion (even though you were the right person for the job). Some companies try to promote single men and women who don’t have the responsibilities of raising children (or the possibility of that in the future). They may also look over someone who is busy as a caregiver, even if they are the best person for the promotion.
Being penalized for taking care of your children, parents, or spouse. You shouldn’t get in trouble because you have to take your parents or spouse to doctor’s appointments. If he or she is having a bad day, you might need to take some time off to help them through this. You can’t lose your job or a promotion just because you were taking care of your responsibility.
Looking for reasons (or even making up lies) to fire you. You can’t lose your job because you have a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. That being said, your employer may look for any reason to let you go. They may even make things up in order to legally be able to fire you. If you find yourself questioning it when you lose your job, you may have a family responsibilities discrimination case.
Rewarding employees who work late. Some companies reward their employees who don’t have the same responsibilities at home. They promote those who are always able to work late and on weekends while penalizing those who need to leave on time (or even early).
Not getting the positive evaluations that you deserve. Because you have so many responsibilities at home, you probably work harder than most at your company, just to prove that you belong there. That being said, you may notice that you aren’t getting as many positive evaluations because they are judging you much more harshly than some of the other employees that you work with.
Not getting leave for adoption. Most employers give their employers an adoption leave so that they can have time to adjust to being a new family. Though it is not technically a maternity leave, you still deserve this time for your new child. You deserve all of the rights that biological parents get, starting with some time off.
If you feel like you are being discriminated against, just for taking care of someone that you love, you need to talk to a lawyer. He or she will help you decide whether or not you have a case so you can decide how you want to proceed.
You work hard, and you deserve to reap the benefits. You should be paid fairly, given the time off that you need, and promoted because you deserve it!
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you feel like you are being discriminated against. We are a law firm dedicated to help employees to make sure that they are being treated the way that they deserve to be.