NEW YORK NURSE: September 2009
I understand that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued new guidelines on disparate treatment of family caregivers. I may soon be caring for a parent with terminal cancer. How could this affect me?
Under the new EEOC guidelines, employers may not discriminate against employees who are responsible for caring for a family member. If you are denied employment opportunities or threatened with termination because you have a sick family member at home, you could have a valid discrimination claim. Discrimination (or disparate treatment) could occur if it is based on any one of the characteristics protected by law.
Unlawful disparate treatment arises when a worker is subject to discrimination based on:
Some examples of discrimination against caregivers:
If you believe you have been treated differently by your employer because of your caregiving responsibilities, contact your NYSNA nursing representative or a local office of the EEOC.
The NYSNA EGW Program receives many inquiries each month from members who have problems in their workplaces. If you have a question about labor relations at your facility, contact your NYSNA nursing representative. If you have a question you think should be featured in this column, send it to: RNs at Work, NYSNA, 120 Wall Street, 23rd Floor, New York, N.Y. 10005.