Caregivers offered new protection against discrimination

A maintenance worker worked for the same company for over 20 years. He consistently received positive reviews. After 25 years of solid performance, he was forced to take some time off to care for his aging father who was suffering from Alzheimer’s. He was fired for failing to complete a sufficient amount of work. A top sales person at a separate company had a phone book thrown at her and was told to “find a pediatrician open after work” when she was forced to leave early one day to pick up her sick child from day care.

These true-life examples of caregivers facing harassment from their employers are only two of the types of harassment familial caregivers face each day. Now they are being granted new protection by a law recently passed in the state of New York.

According to the story, a new bill was signed into law on May 4. This new bill is designed to protect from employees who care “for children under the age of 18, as well as those who care for parents, children, siblings, spouses, grandparents or grandchildren who have a disability.” With the signing of this new bill, caregivers join the ranks of those protected against sexual, age and racial discrimination. It is now illegal for private and public employers (who meet specific criteria) alike to refuse to promote an employee because of their caregiving duties. They cannot deny them benefits or raises. They cannot refuse to hire them just because of their caregiving duties.

Perhaps best of all, caregivers now have a means of seeking reparation and retribution. If you have been unfairly discriminated against because you have had to take time off to care for a loved one, talk to an attorney about your rights.,” Caregivers protected from discrimination by new law, Patrick Donachie, May 17, 2016

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