At times a supervisor may not see or understand an employee’s responsibility to their family. A business leader must be mindful of these facts of life in order to guarantee employee happiness and avoid legal trouble. “Family responsibility discrimination” is a title given to forms of discrimination an employee receives because he or she has responsibility caring for another person in their family.
An article, over at HR Morning, cites some startling statistics from a study by The Center for WorkLife Law. It found that “lawsuits filed by employees with family care-giving obligations have increased almost 400% between 2000 and 2010” and that “employees prevail … far more frequently than in other types of employment cases.”
One eye-opening fact revealed in the piece is that a notable amount of cases surround discrimination against women who “become pregnant with a second child or a multiple birth” compared to less-common discrimination against women who give birth to their first child. Something in an employer’s mind clicks and they realize that a female employee’s family responsibilities grow and don’t necessarily have to end after the birth of a single child.
As an unfortunate result, some managers may ignore the personal responsibilities of their employees and discriminate simply because an employee took a legal and necessary amount of family leave.
Business leaders and HR professionals must be vigilant regarding trending forms of discrimination such as “family responsibility discrimination.” There exists a form of work/life balance in this regard and ignoring this fact can only land an employer in trouble.
For more information on human resource consulting or employer programs, contact Xenium HR at 503-612-1555 or visit www.xeniumhr.com. This article is intended as information only and is not a substitute for legal advice. Xenium HR is a professional employer organization specializing in strategic HR partnership with small and mid-sized businesses in Portland, Oregon.
Image courtesy of user Dplanet via Flickr Creative Commons.