All employees should be subject to equal and fair treatment in their workplace. It is an important human right to be treated in a just manner. Although there are laws that protect workers against workplace discrimination, some may not be fully covered by the laws currently in place.
In many places in the United States, there is no security against employment discrimination for workers who may also be caregivers. In states such as California, legislation that may provide this security is still pending.
In a recent case in another state, a woman lost her job due to conflicting schedules between her work and looking after her daughter. Her requests to change her schedule to work around her daughter’s needs were denied, resulting in the loss of her job. Unfortunately, there were no laws that could help her in this situation and she had to find another job.
Under a bill in the California Legislature, individuals who provide medical care or assistance to immediate family members will have greater job security. However, the state Chamber of Commerce claims that the bill is too ambiguous. An advocate of the California bill claimed that he was refused a promotion because he had lone custody of his children. The city denied that he was not given a promotion because of his childcare issues and his lawsuit was lost on appeal.
Cases of workplace discrimination are common all over the country. Residents of San Francisco should be careful when dealing with such situations and may want to obtain legal advice to protect their rights. But until more laws are put into place to protect workers who have familial responsibilities not covered by the Family Medical Leave Act, each aggrieved person may have to fight for their rights on a case-by-case basis.
Source: Brandon Sun, “Bills in NYC, California highlight fight to protect caregivers from employment discrimination,” Jim Fitzgerald, Feb. 3, 2014