Employment discrimination laws could change in California

Debates over potential changes to employment discrimination seem to be moving to the forefront in California and across the country. Employment discrimination typically protects individuals from losing or being refused a job due to their race or gender. Another issue that's starting to stand out in California is caregiver discrimination.

It's completely legal in most areas for caregivers to be reprimanded for taking time off for their children. One woman claims that her employer changed her schedule from morning shift to night hours, which made tending to her young daughter seemingly impossible. This created issues since the woman was unable to obtain childcare for her daughter during these nighttime hours. She submitted numerous requests for alternate work times, including a weekend and holiday schedule, and even asked if she could bring her daughter to work.

The employer denied her requests and the woman was forced to find employment elsewhere. Some of her co-workers, who were students, were actually allowed to have flexible schedules. When the woman discovered this potentially preferential treatment, she determined that she was being discriminated against. A proposed law would give caregivers protection from discrimination. The bill would require employers to offer feasible accommodations for those employees who are responsible for providing continuous care to another individual.

California caregivers have been forced to take it or leave it when it comes to employment. In modern times, more parents are working outside the home and many disabled individuals are unable to rely solely on their family for assistance. Often times, employers do not accommodate schedules that allow time for care giving, but this new law could change this unfortunate circumstance. Workers who have been faced with employment discrimination may have the right to pursue civil litigation against the employer who committed the violation.

Source: Epoch Times, Caregivers Face Workplace Discrimination, No author, Feb. 4, 2014

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