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Family responsibilities discrimination (FRD) is a common type of employment discrimination that occurs in the workforce, especially towards pregnant women and mothers. However, FRD is not a type of discrimination that many employers even know they are committing. For instance, an employer may choose not to hire someone because they fear that “familial obligations will interfere with their work.” Or, the manager of a department may negate a promotion because they know that the person in question already has a lot on their plate at home with two children and a third on the way. FRD is one of those things that many people think is perfectly justifiable, but is in actuality completely illegal.

Whether you are a California employer or a California employee, it is important that you understand family responsibilities discrimination so that you can exercise your rights or protect your business should you ever be faced with it. Consult with the employment discrimination attorneys at Garcia & Gurney, ALC to learn more about FRD and how it may affect you.

Laws that Expressly Protect an Employee from FRD 

While California is one of many states that does not have a statute that expressly prohibits family responsibilities discrimination, there are several federal laws that protect employees from discrimination based on their caregiving obligations. For instance:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sex discrimination, so many FRD claims are brought under this law if the employer’s actions involve unfair treatment of women with children, stereotyping of women as mothers, or denial to male caregivers of leave or benefits otherwise available to female caregivers;
  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act protects women from discrimination based on their pregnancy, plans to become pregnant, and childbirth;
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act prohibits discrimination or retaliation against employees who exercise their rights under the FMLA; and
  • Other acts, such as the American with Disabilities Act, Equal Pay Act, and ERISA contain protections for family caregivers.

California Laws with Special Protection Clauses for Caregivers

Under California Labor Code §1030, California employers are required to provide special accommodations for lactating mothers to pump during working hours. Furthermore, under California Labor Code § 230.8, California employers are prohibited from discharging or discriminating in any way against parent-employees who take up to 40 hours of leave each year (eight hours per month) to participate in their child’s school or daycare activities, or to take time off to appear at a child’s school because of suspension or expulsion.

Work with a Pleasanton Employment Attorney

At Garcia & Gurney, ALC, we fight to protect the rights of California employees. We also dedicate our time and resources towards helping California employers stay in compliance with local, state, and federal laws. If you are an employee who feels as if they have been unfairly discriminated against because of familial obligations, or if you are an employer who is under fire for unfairly discriminating against an employee or potential employee because of their familial obligations, contact the Pleasanton employment discrimination attorneys at Garcia & Gurney, ALC to learn more about your legal options. To speak with a legal representative today, contact us at 925-468-0400 or online to schedule a private consultation.

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