We all know that people with disabilities are protected from discrimination at the workplace and may be provided reasonable accommodations under the ADA, The Americans with Disabilities Act. What I find many folks don’t know is that employed parents, while not a legally protected class, cannot be discriminated against at their workplaces due to their relationship with their child who has special needs (or other caregiver related situation). In fact, one of the most quickly growing segments of employment law is “family responsibilities discrimination (FRD)” which in the last ten years has seen over a 400% increase in claims. Specifically, FRD refers to adverse employment actions taken based on an employees’ family responsibilities.
As most of you know, Springboard is a big believer in “practical” training, especially for those professionals in management and human resources. This type of training is recommended to provide participants with an overview of the law while focusing on an understanding of the unique issues related to exceptional care-giving and the stereotypes that negatively impact employees who are parents of children with special needs. This type of training will arm companies with the knowledge that will help them to avoid such claims in the first place.