You were doing a great job. Then suddenly your spouse became ill, your elderly parents needed more of your attention or your children had issues that needed your care. You are juggling as best as you can. But you’re perceived by your employer as someone who is distracted and no longer a team player. You feel that you have been the target of discrimination on your job based upon your family responsibilities. You are not certain if you are protected by law against the behavior you are experiencing on the job or at the hands of your employer, whether manifested in employment decisions, policies, recruitment, hiring, or in the way you are treated.
While no federal statute specifically protects workers against discrimination from family care giving responsibilities, the EEOC, did issue enforcement guidance in May 2007, which states that family responsibilities discrimination is understood to include discrimination against workers who have certain types of family responsibilities, such as pregnant women, mothers and fathers of young children, parents of disabled children, and workers who care for their aging parents or sick spouses/partners. You should consult with legal counsel to consider your options.