Federal Manager's Daily Report

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In guidance that applies to federal agencies as well as private sector employers covered by the Civil Rights Act, the EEOC has cautioned that the law bars discrimination based on caregiving status, an issue that it said has come to greater prominence during the pandemic.

“An employer’s assumptions or stereotypes about caregivers may result in illegal discrimination when those assumptions lead the employer to make employment decisions based on a protected characteristic, even if the employer’s decisions are well-intentioned. For example, it would be illegal if an employer refused to hire an applicant who is the primary caregiver of an individual with a disability who is at higher risk of complications from COVID-19 out of fear that the employer’s healthcare costs would increase,” the EEOC said.

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“It also would be unlawful for an employer to refuse to promote a woman based on assumptions that, because she was female, she would focus primarily on caring for her children while they quarantined or attended school remotely,” it said.

The updated guidance is at www.eeoc.gov/wysk/what-you-should-know-about-covid-19-and-ada-rehabilitation-act-and-other-eeo-laws#I

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