Employers Must Take Care Not to Discriminate Against People With Family Responsibilities

By Sandy Burud

No doubt there is a powerful trend toward workplace flexibility.  It is no longer a question of whether employers should make it possible, but how well they will do it. As if to emphasize that point, regulators have made it clear that employers cannot discriminate against employees because they have family responsibilities. They cannot, for example, hold people with child care or eldercare needs to stricter work schedules or pay people working part-time for family reasons less than others doing the same job on a full time basis.

In 2007 the EEOC issued guidelines guarding against this discrimination. Now, a number of key states have crafted legislation that would make it illegal. (New Jersey, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Montana, New York and California, and others). This train is clearly moving.