Family Responsibility Discrimination: The Parent Trap, By Adria B. Martinelli, Esquire

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In May 2007, The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued Enforcement Guidance regarding the "Unlawful Disparate Treatment of Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities." This is also referred to as Family Responsibility Discrimination (FRD). The subject has received considerable coverage in the mainstream media, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and others. The press has reported alarming statistics, such as the fact that since the mid-1990's, the number of workers who have sued their employers for alleged mistreatment on account of family responsibilties has increased by more than 300 percent.

The stories tug at the heartstrings: mother with severely ill premature baby takes leave to care for her infant; husband stays home to care for wife with life-threatening illness; worker takes leave to care for mother with Alzheimer's - all ruthlessly fired by their employer. What's the right way to handle these situations? How do you avoid becoming an employee's star witness in her soon-to-be-filled family discrimination lawsuit? Read more to learn about navigating this developing area of the law.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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