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Woman fired over caregiver status; new laws may help Californians

If you haven't been hired for a job or miss a promotion just because of your gender or race, that's unacceptable. Unfortunately, workplace discrimination is more common than it should be. Now, California and New York City are both trying to pass laws that would protect caregivers the same ways that homosexuals, people of different genders, and different races are protected in the workplace.

According to the article from Feb. 9, people who have to take off work because of needing to take a child to the doctor or because they need to take care of a disabled or elderly parent could be discriminated against due to their status as a caregiver. There are allegedly no laws in place in most areas of the United States that would protect someone from being fired due to these responsibilities. In one case, a woman claimed that she lost her job when she had to switch from a day shift to irregular hours at night.

She allegedly offered to work during holidays and weekends, and she even went as far as to ask about bringing her daughter, who was 11, to work with her. She claimed she was always denied the hours she needed, even though others were able to rearrange their schedules for schooling. Unfortunately, because there is no law in place to prevent this kind of firing, she simply had to find another job.

It's good to hear that the governments of states are starting to see the problem with discrimination against caregivers, but that doesn't mean it's over. If you've been discriminated against, you should have the right to have your case heard. An attorney may be able to help.

Source: The Denver Post, "New York City, California bills show fight to protect caregivers" Jim Fitzgerald, Feb. 09, 2014

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