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Trends in Pregnancy Discrimination and Caregiver Issues

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On February 15, the EEOC held a public meeting on pregnancy discrimination and caregiver issues. Invited panelists told the EEOC that discrimination against pregnant women and employees with caregiving responsibilities remains a significant problem in today's workforce.

While the problems affect all segments of the workforce, low-wage workers are particularly affected. As noted by Maryann Parker, Associate General Counsel of the Service Employees International Union, the shift from manufacturing to service sector jobs has contributed to the problem. Low-wage jobs in the service sector often come with either very rigid work schedules with no flexibility or completely unpredictable schedules with no fixed hours from week to week. Both situations can pose significant difficulty for employees with caregiving responsibilities.

In this installment, we discuss the issues raised during the meeting surrounding pregnancy discrimination and discrimination against men and women with caregiving responsibilities, and talk about what steps employers can take to comply with the law and implement best practices for the work-life balance.

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