Saturday, May 12, 2007

"Taking better care of caregivers" - new bill in California

Tomorrow is Mother's Day so this post is dedicated to everyone who is special in someone else's life - someone whose spiritual generosity has touched another. That includes caregivers of all kinds IMHO.

Yet work environments have traditionally not provided protection - and continue to discriminate- against workers such as pregnant women and caregivers. It is being called "Family responsibiilities discrimination" which does not support family values.

"Caregiving discrimination lawsuits have exploded — with plaintiffs often winning...
These laws and other actions are based on an emerging legal doctrine built around the concept of "family responsibilities discrimination." The doctrine is based on evidence that pregnant women and caregivers often are passed over for jobs, dinged on performance reviews or blocked from promotions. Some employers assume they would be absent more frequently and won't work as hard or be as committed to their careers as those without caregiving duties."

One California lawmaker is stepping in with a proposed bill that would assist family caregivers with jobs outside the home extending protection under current job discrimination laws. (Click above to read the entire article).

"For example, federal law requires employers to accommodate the needs of disabled workers and grant employees leave to care for sick or disabled relatives. But no federal statute expressly forbids job discrimination on the basis of an individual's parenting status.
California law expressly bars job discrimination on the basis of sex and marital status, among other factors, but not caregiving.
A bill now before the state Senate amends the Fair Employment and Housing Act, extending that protection to parents and workers with an ill or disabled spouse or aging relatives. SB 836, sponsored by state Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica), would apply to businesses with five or more employees. It is scheduled for a vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday."


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