The EEOC issued new technical guidance for employers this week to provide them with some direction on how to deal with workers with caregiving responsibilities.
The document, "Employer Best Practices for Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities," is available online here supplements previous guidance entitled "Unlawful Disparate Treatment of Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities".
As stated by the EEOC:
The best practices document provides recommendations for workplace policies aimed at removing barriers to equal employment opportunity for workers with caregiving responsibilities. Examples include personal or sick leave policies that allow employees to use leave to care for ill family members, flexible work arrangements, part-time opportunities with proportional compensation and benefits, and equal-opportunity policies that address unlawful discrimination against caregivers.
The examples that the EEOC provides are not earth-shattering. Indeed, most employers are likely following many of these practices. Nevertheless, the document should give employers some additional assurance that they will have the backing of the government in implementing certain programs.
Among the best practice examples given:
- Be aware of, and train managers about, the legal obligations that may impact decisions about treatment of workers with caregiving responsibilities.
- Develop, disseminate, and enforce a strong EEO policy.
- Ensure that managers at all levels are aware of, and comply with, the organization’s work-life policies.
- Respond to complaints of caregiver discrimination efficiently and effectively.
- Protect against retaliation.
For employers, add this to the seemingly never-ending list of areas for human resources to keep a close eye on.