How can an employer minimize the risk of family responsibility discrimination claims?

Author: Beth P. Zoller, XpertHR Legal Editor

In order to reduce the risk of family responsibility discrimination claims, it is advisable for an employer to establish a discrimination and harassment policy that specifically prohibits discrimination against caregivers and based on familial status. Further, it is important to train managers and supervisors as well as employees that they should not discriminate against or stereotype co-workers based on their family responsibilities. It is important for an employer to be open to and respond to reasonable requests for accommodation based on family responsibilities if doing so would not cause an undue hardship for the employer. Lastly, an employer should follow up on complaints of family responsibility discrimination with an investigation and discipline if warranted. Additionally, an employer should be careful not to retaliate against those individuals who have complained about family responsibility discrimination.