EEOC Releases Technical Assistance On “Caregiver Discrimination”
March 16, 2022
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released a technical assistance document to explain and caution employers against what it is calling “caregiver discrimination.” It has also updated its COVID-19 guidance to address issues related to caregivers (Section I).
Being a caregiver is not a protected class. However, the EEOC believes that discrimination against caregivers can take place when it is based on a person’s protected class (such as sex, age, race, religion, pregnancy), or when it is based on a person’s association with an individual with a disability or the protected class of the person for whom care is provided. Discrimination can also occur when seemingly neutral policies have an adverse impact on one group of individuals who are in a protected class.
The technical assistance provides examples of what the EEOC believes is caregiver discrimination. It also addresses situations in which caregivers may encounter illegal harassment, retaliation, or discrimination based on pregnancy, gender, association with someone who has a disability, or other bases protected by EEOC-enforced laws.
This is a complicated, but important, issue employers need to understand. We encourage you to review the EEOC’s information and contact a KZA attorney with questions.
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