Howard County Caregiver Discrimination Lawyer
Family caregiving responsibilities affect most employees at some point in their working lives. These obligations may arise when someone needs maternity leave, a flexible schedule to care for an aging parent, or time off to help a sick partner. Some employers may hold these familial responsibilities against employees in an illegal manner.
If you believe your employer has treated you unfairly because of your family caregiver status, you could seek legal advice from a Howard County caregiver discrimination lawyer at the Spiggle Law Firm. While several laws protect family caregivers in a number of different ways, getting advice from a skilled workplace discrimination attorney could be crucial to fully understand your rights due to the complex and changing area of law.
Caregiver Discrimination in Employment
Caregiver discrimination in employment may occur whenever an employer treats an employee differently because of their family caregiving responsibilities. This kind of treatment may affect pregnant women, parents, someone caring for an ill family member, and many others. Caregiver discrimination could also occur when an employer bases a decision on stereotypes of how an employee will or should act because of their family responsibilities.
Types of Caregiver Discrimination
Examples of caregiver discrimination may include:
- Firing or demoting an employee who becomes pregnant
- Failing to hire someone based on an assumption that that will want to have a child
- Demoting or firing employees when they return from maternity/paternity or other caregiving leave
- Firing employees when their spouse or parent becomes disabled
- Failing to accommodate breastfeeding employees
- Denying a promotion to an employee with young children based on stereotypes about “commitment” to the employer
- Denying leave or scheduling flexibility to employees who need it for pregnancy-related needs or family care responsibilities
While no one law bars caregiver discrimination outright, there are a number of legal protections in place for caregivers provided by other laws. An experienced Howard County attorney may understand this complex array or protections and could help you better understand your caregiver discrimination legal rights.
Laws Relating to Caregiver Discrimination in Howard County
Numerous federal and state laws provide protections for Howard County caregivers. These may include laws prohibiting discrimination based on gender, pregnancy, childbirth, medical conditions related to childbirth, and association with people who have disabilities.
These laws could prohibit an employer from refusing to hire a pregnant woman or basing work assignments on stereotypes about a parent’s commitment or availability. The Howard County Human Rights Ordinance also prohibits discrimination based on marital or familial status. A Howard County caregiver discrimination lawyer could help a person determine if their employer has broken any discrimination laws.
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may also be an important law for family caregivers. The FMLA provides for job-protected leave for employees who need time off for medical or family needs.
Under the FMLA, it is illegal to deny a covered employee’s request for leave because of their own serious medical condition or to care for an ill child, spouse, or parent. It also provides leave for childbirth, as well as for adopting or taking on a foster child.
Most importantly, the law prohibits retaliation against employees who take FMLA leave. While many employers make it easy for employees to apply for and get an FMLA leave, there are many ways that they could violate the law. Anyone with questions about their FMLA rights should seek legal advice from a caregiver discrimination lawyer in Howard County.
Rights for Nursing Mothers
Nursing mothers also have legal rights because of their caregiver responsibilities. Under the Nursing Mothers Provision of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers must give covered employees reasonable break time to pump breast milk for one year after the child’s birth and a private place other than a bathroom in which to do so. the Code of Maryland §20-801 establishes that nursing mothers have the right to breastfeed in any location where they have the right to be.
Contacting a Howard County Caregiver Discrimination Attorney for Skilled Legal Guidance
If you have questions about your employment rights as a family caregiver, you could seek legal advice from an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Since all cases differ, it may be important to seek out legal counsel from someone who understands the many laws that can apply to caregiver discrimination cases.
A Howard County caregiver discrimination lawyer could take the time to understand your specific family situation and advise you about your rights and ways that they could help. In some situations, you may simply need coaching about how to make a leave request.
You may also need help deciding whether to file a legal claim for damages if your employer has already taken action against you because of your caregiver responsibilities. The Spiggle Law Firm is ready and available to help, so get started on your case by using our free case review tool from your browser today.