Monday, November 1, 2010

Family Responsibilities Discrimination

The Work Life Law Center at the University of California-Hastings College of Law has an excellent feature on their website dedicated to Family Responsibilities Discrimination ("FRD"). For those of you who are unaware, Family Responsibilities Discrimination is employment discrimination against workers based on their family caregiving responsibilities.

In Wisconsin, there isn't an exact claim known as an "FRD claim, but, rather, FRD claims arise under Title VII as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act ("PDA") or under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act ("WFEA"), which protect employees from disparate treatment because of "sex" or "pregnancy," for example.

One FRD case out of Wisconsin involved a sales manager whose supervisor admitted that, although she was qualified for promotion, he did not promote her because the sales manager had children and the supervisor assumed she would not want to relocate her family. The plaintiff in that case won a $1 million-plus Title VII jury verdict in the Western District of Wisconsin. (Lust v. Sealy Inc., 277 F. Supp. 2d 973 (W.D. Wis. 2003), affirmed as modified by 383 F.3d 580 (7th Cir. 2004). The Seventh Circuit reduced the amount of damages.)

If you think your family/caregiver responsibilties have subjected you to discrimination in the workplace, feel free to contact me.

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