Did you know, you cannot be:
- Disciplined for taking time off at your job to care for a loved one
- Treated differently at work because you are a single parent
- Passed over for a promotion because family responsibilities cause your boss to question your commitment
- Fired so you could “spend more time with your family”
Do you think your employer’s actions were motivated by your responsibilities outside of the workplace? That could be discrimination under Wisconsin laws.
What is Family Responsibilities Discrimination?
Caregiver or Family Responsibilities Discrimination is not a stand-alone claim; rather, it is a combination of other forms of discrimination, encompassing pregnancy, maternity leave, and employees that care for their children, disabled family members, and/or ill or elderly parents.
Cases such of these are usually brought under a combination of federal laws, including Title VII for sex discrimination, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for failure to provide leave or retaliation for taking leave, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA or ADAAA) for associational claims, and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) for interference with an employee’s right to benefits.
Cases such as these are sometimes referred to as “sex plus” cases in the Title VII context because the employee was allegedly discriminated based on his/her sex “plus” another characteristic, such as being a parent.
What Does a Caregiver or Family Responsibilities Discrimination Case Look Like?
Usually this form of discrimination flows from an adverse action (for example a cut in hours, failure to promote, denial of leave, termination or any other form of discipline) that is taken against an employee because of the employee’s caregiving or family responsibilities or because of sex stereotyping. Sex stereotyping occurs in this context when an employer makes assumptions about an employee’s family responsibilities based on the employee’s sex.
An employer’s actions in these cases may seem overly cold and insensitive or even overly benevolent. Here are some examples:
- Of a sex discrimination and FMLA claim: An employer denies FMLA leave to a male employee who has requested the leave to care for his newborn child, based on the assumption that his wife should do it.
- Of a sex stereotyping claim: An employer denies a promotion to a female employee based on the belief that she does not have the time to take on the increased duties of the new position, to travel, or to work longer hours, because of her assumed responsibilities to her family.
- Of an ADA associational and ERISA claim: An employer fires husband and wife employees because their terminally ill son is incurring extensive medical bills on the employer’s insurance.
- Of a pregnancy discrimination claim: An employer terminates a pregnant employee based on the belief that she would miss too much work caring for her child after she returned from maternity leave.
The Walcheske & Luzi, LLC Difference
At Walcheske & Luzi, LLC it is our pledge to provide open and honest advice, taking the time to listen, counsel, and advise. We will work closely with you to determine if you are the victim of caregiver & family responsibility discrimination. Tell us about your caregiver & family responsibility discrimination case, we’re ready to help.
Check out our testimonials section, where former clients have described their past experiences with us.