Caregivers never truly stop working. They must ensure that the needs of a loved one or minor child are met, whether they are physically with that person or at work.
Some employers in New York fail to recognize the responsibilities caregivers have. Fortunately, employees in New York who are caregivers are protected by the law.
The New York City Human Rights Law protects caregivers against workplace discrimination. Individuals may be protected by state and federal anti-discrimination laws as well.
Under the New York City Human Rights Law, a caregiver is defined as:
- A parent of a child (biological, adoptive or foster) under the age of 18, for whom the parent provides direct and ongoing care
- An individual who provides direct care (medical or daily living) for a disabled family member or loved one who lives with that individual
Caregiver discrimination may occur when an employer makes an employment-related decision based on someone's status as a caregiver. Examples of caregiver discrimination may include:
- Refusing to hire a female applicant because she is a single mother
- Refusing to promote someone because he or she has a disabled spouse
- Firing an employee because he or she is planning on fostering or adopting a child
The Human Rights Law offers broad protection. Both job applicants and employees are protected. Full-time and part-time employees are protected, as are interns and independent contractors. Additionally, an employee is protected regardless of immigration status.
It is advisable to speak to an employment law attorney if you believe you are experiencing discrimination based on your caregiver status.