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Family Responsibilities Discrimination

Feel Discriminated Against Because You Have to Take Care of Your Family?

It is commonly known that an employer may not ask a prospective employee about his/her marital status or family issues because an employer may not discriminate against an applicant based on their family status. But what about discrimination based on family status after hiring? California may be close to passing a law that adds familial status to the list of protected categories under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

Senate Bill 404 (Jackson, D-Santa Barbara) proposes to include “familial status” as protected classification under FEHA to prevent discrimination on such basis. The term “familial status” is defined as:

  •  Any individual who provides “medical or supervisory care” to a child, parent, spouse, domestic partner, in-law, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild;
  • Any employee who is “perceived” as someone who provides medical or supervisory care to a child, parent, spouse, domestic  partner, in-law, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild; or
  • Any person who is “associated” with a person who provides medical or supervisory care to a child, parent, spouse, domestic partner, in-law, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild.

California's FEHA already protects employees from discrimination based on sex, pregnancy, medical condition, mental disability, or physical disability. This bill protects people who act on family values, caring for their children, the elderly, and disabled family members. This bill requires employers to treat those employees who are caregivers the same way they treat other employees.

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/sen/sb_0401-0450/sb_404_bill_20130220_introduced.htm

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