The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Employer Best Practices for Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities

In 2007, EEOC issued guidance explaining the circumstances under which discrimination against workers with caregiving responsibilities might constitute discrimination based on sex, disability or other characteristics protected by federal employment discrimination laws.[1]

This document supplements the 2007 guidance by providing suggestions for best practices that employers may adopt to reduce the chance of EEO violations against caregivers, and to remove barriers to equal employment opportunity.[2] Best practices are proactive measures that go beyond federal non-discrimination requirements.

Currently, many workers juggle both work and caregiving responsibilities. Those responsibilities extend not only to spouses and children, but also to parents and other older family members, or relatives with disabilities.[3] While women, particularly women of color, remain disproportionately likely to exercise primary caregiving responsibilities, men have increasingly assumed caretaking duties for children, parents and relatives with disabilities.[4]

Employers adopting flexible workplace policies that help employees achieve a satisfactory work-life balance may not only experience decreased complaints of unlawful discrimination, but may also benefit their workers, their customer base, and their bottom line.[5] Numerous studies have found that flexible workplace policies enhance employee productivity, reduce absenteeism, reduce costs,[6] and appear to positively affect profits.[7] They also aid recruitment and retention efforts, allowing employers to retain a talented, knowledgeable workforce and save the money and time that would otherwise have been spent recruiting, interviewing, selecting and training new employees.[8] The benefits of these programs remain constant regardless of the economic climate, and some employers have implemented workplace flexibility programs as an alternative to workforce reductions.[9] Such programs not only enable employers to “go lean without being mean,” but they also can position organizations to rebound quickly as soon as business improves.[10]

The following are examples of best practices for employers that go beyond federal nondiscrimination requirements and that are designed to remove barriers to equal employment opportunity.


Recruitment, Hiring, and Promotion

Terms, Conditions, and Privileges of Employment

Studies have demonstrated that flexible work policies have a positive impact on employee engagement and organizational productivity and profitability.[45] The practices outlined above have the potential to benefit all workers, regardless of caregiver-status. Furthermore, these practices have the potential to benefit employers, enabling them to recruit and retain talented, productive, committed employees. Finally, these practices will help ensure that all workers enjoy equal opportunity to compete, advance, and succeed in the workplace.


[1] EEOC, Enforcement Guidance: Unlawful Disparate Treatment of Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities (2007), available at [hereinafter Caregiver Guidance]. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits, inter alia, discrimination based on sex. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2 (2009). The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination based on a worker’s association with an individual with a disability. 42 U.S.C. § 12112(b)(4) (2009). Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act provides the same protection to federal workers. 29 U.S.C. § 791(g) (2009) (incorporating ADA standards). Neither the 2007 Guidance nor this document create a new prohibited basis for discrimination. Rather, these documents illustrate circumstances in which stereotyping or other forms of discrimination may violate Title VII or the Americans with Disabilities Act.

[2] Additional resources on best practices include: EEOC, “Best” Equal Employment Opportunity Policies, Programs, and Practices in the Private Sector (2d ed. 1998), available at; Univ. of California, Hastings Coll. of Law, Center for Work-Life Law,;Families & Work Inst., Nat’l Study ofEmployers2008, available at;
WorkingMother,“100BestCompaniesof2008,” See also infra notes 5 - 9.

[3] See Bureau of Labor Statistics, Dep’t of Labor, Employment Characteristics of Families, Table 4 (2008), available at (reporting that 90.7 % of families with children under age 18 had at least one employed parent and 62.2 % of married couple families with children had two employed parents).

Jodie Levin-Epstein, Ctr. for Law & Soc. Policy, Getting Punched: The Job and Family Clock 7 (2006), available at _punched_fullnotes.pdf (acknowledging that approximately one in four workers cares for an elderly relative, and almost one in ten workers cares for both children and elderly relatives).

Dep’t of Health & Human Servs., Informal Caregiving: Compassion in Action 11 (1998), available at (stating that 88 % of individuals with caregiving responsibilities for ill or disabled relatives or friends worked at least 35 hours per week); U.S. Census Bureau, Disability and American Families: 2000 3, 16 (2005),available at (finding that approximately two in seven families have at least one family member with a disability, and approximately one in ten families with children under 18 years of age includes a child with a disability).

[4] See, e.g., Laura T. Kessler, The Attachment Gap: Employment Discrimination Law, Women’s Cultural Caregiving, and the Limits of Economic and Liberal Legal Theory, 34 U. MICH. J.L. REFORM 371, 378-80 (2001) (noting that women continue to serve as the primary caregivers for children and sick or disabled relatives); Caregiver Guidance, supra note 1, at nn.15-20 (describing the disproportionate caretaking duties exercised by employed women of color); Nat’l Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, Caregiving in the U.S. vi (2004), available at (reporting that 39 % of caregivers are men).

[5] See, e.g., Boston Coll. Ctr. for Work & Family, Overcoming the Implementation Gap: How 20 Leading Companies are Making Flexibility Work, Exec. Summary 8-13 (2008) (listing the benefits of workplace flexibility programs, including employee commitment; talent recruitment and retention; enhanced customer service; increased productivity; reduced absenteeism; and coverage across multiple time zones); Inst. for a Competitive Workforce, Workplace Flexibility: Employers Respond to the Changing Workforce 2 (2008) [hereinafter Workplace Flexibility: Employers Respond] (describing workplace flexibility practices that reinforce the economic competitiveness of particular geographic regions); Ellen T. Galinsky, James T. Bond and E. Jeffrey Hill, When Work Works: A Status Report on Workplace Flexibility 22-24 (2004), available at (reporting the correlation between access to flexible work arrangements and enhanced employee engagement, loyalty, job satisfaction and mental health).

[6] See generally Corporate Voices for Working Families, Business Impacts of Flexibility: An Imperative for Expansion 4(2005), available at [hereinafter Business Impacts] (reviewing the positive impacts of workplace flexibility policies on talent management; employee satisfaction, commitment and engagement; customer retention; and financial performance and productivity); Families & Work Inst., When Work Works: 2008 Guide to Bold New Ideas for Making Work Work 83-84, available at [hereinafter Bold New Ideas] (outlining the business results of flexibility, including increased employee engagement and retention, decreased turnover, decreased absenteeism and sick days, increased customer satisfaction, reduced business costs, increased productivity and profitability, improved staffing coverage, and enhanced innovation and creativity).

[7] See, e.g., Workplace Flexibility: Employers Respond, supra note 5, at 9 (quoting Kaye/Bassman CEO Jeff Kaye, who permits employees to shift from part-time to full-time and back and offers reduced hours and job-sharing: “Flexibility makes us money”); Business Impacts, supra note 6, at 20 (describing First Tennessee Bank’s implementation of work-life balance policies which resulted in $106 million in profits based on a 50 % increase in employee retention and satisfaction and a 7 % increase in customer retention). “[F]lexibility is a driver of financial performance and productivity and is correlated to increased revenue generation.” Id. at 4.See also Bold New Ideas, supra note6, at 16 (noting the rapid expansion of retail contact lens business 1-800-CONTACTS from $3 million to $250 million in sales in 11 years, an achievement due in large part, according to the company, to its flexible workplace policies).

[8] See, e.g., Business Impacts, supra note 6, at 4 (“flexibility has saved individual companies millions of dollars in prevented turnover”). For example, Deloitte & Touche saved $41.5 million in turnover-related costs in 2003. Id. at 10. See generally Bold New Ideas, supra note 6 (summarizing successful work-balance policies that strengthened retention rates and decreased turnover rates to well below industry averages for a wide range of organizations).

[9] See Sue Shellenbarger, Perking Up: Some Companies Offer Surprising New Benefits, Wall St. J., March 18, 2009, at D1 (describing a variety of programs employers have adopted to enhance employee morale and retention, including child-care centers, backup child care, academic scholarships, concierge services, adoption benefits and expanded health care); Dep’t of Labor, Women’s Bureau, Flex Options Teleconference: Using Workplace Flexibility as Part of a Downsizing Strategy 5-7, 10-11 (Feb. 12, 2009), available at [hereinafter Flex Options Teleconference] (reviewing workplace flexibility programs such as contract work, reduced hours and unpaid vacations with full benefits, which enable businesses to cut costs, retain employees, and increase productivity);Matt Richtel, More Companies Are Cutting Labor Costs Without Layoffs, N.Y. Times, Dec. 22, 2008, available at (reporting an increasing trend of employers imposing four-day workweeks, unpaid vacations and flexible schedules in an effort to prevent layoffs). But see Annys Shin, As Cuts Loom, Will Working From Home Lead to a Layoff?, Wash. Post, March 23, 2009, at A1 (referring to companies that use flexible work arrangements to cut costs as “the exception” and noting the reluctance of middle management to embrace such policies).

[10] See Flex Options Teleconference, supra note 9, at 20 (recalling the speaker’s recommendation in 1990 that law firms use flexible work arrangements rather than layoffs “as a way of going lean without being mean.”). Flexible work arrangements are “a broad cost cutting and business growth strategy not only to retain valued employees in a difficult economy but also to meet customer demands, improve productivity, manage workloads—both up and down cycles—and work smarter.” Id. at 10.

[11] State and local laws also may prohibit discrimination based on parental status or caregiving responsibilities. See generally Ctr. for WorkLife Law, Preventing Discrimination Against Employees with Family Responsibilities: A Model Policy for Employers 7-8, available at

[12] 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. (2009).

[13] 29 U.S.C. § 206(d) (2009).

[14] 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k) (2009).

[15] 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (2009).

[16] 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq. (2009). The FMLA is enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor.

[17] 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq (2009). ERISA is enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor.

[18] See, e.g., Back v. Hastings on Hudson Union Free Sch. Dist., 365 F.3d 107 (2d Cir. 2004) (gender stereotyping claims based on an employee’s status as a working mother are legitimate claims under section 1983).

[19] 65 Fed. Reg. 26,115 (May 2, 2000) (prohibiting discrimination based on parental status in federal employment practices).

[20] In addition to the federal statutes and regulations that may impact workers with caregiving responsibilities, several states and localities have enacted legislation that prohibits employment discrimination based on parental status or caregiving responsibilities. See, e.g., Alaska Stat. § 18.80.220 (West 2008) (prohibiting discrimination based on “parenthood”); D.C. Code Ann. § 2-1402.11 (2009) (prohibiting discrimination based on “family responsibilities”); Atlanta, Ga., Ordinances ch. 94, art. V, § 112 (2009) (prohibiting discrimination based on “parental status” and “familial status”); Milwaukee, Wis., Ordinances ch. 109, subch. 3, § 45 (2008) (prohibiting discrimination based on “familial status”); Tampa, Fla. Ordinances ch. 12, art. II, § 26 (2009) (prohibiting discrimination based on “familial status”); Cook County, Ill., Ordinances ch. 42, art. II, § 35 (prohibiting discrimination based on “parental status”); Howard County, Md., Ordinances tit. 12, subtit. 2, § 208 (2008) (prohibiting discrimination based on “familial status”). See also Stephanie Bornstein and Julie Weber, Policy Brief: Addressing Family Responsibilities Discrimination (Sloan Work and Family Research Network, Boston College and Center for WorkLife Law, UC Hastings College of Law), Dec. 2008, at 3(asserting that more than 55 localities prohibit employment discrimination based on “familial status,” “family responsibilities,” “parenthood” or “parental status”).

[21] See., e.g., Caregiver Guidance, supra note 1, at I.A., available at (describing the range of caregiving responsibilities performed by workers, including child care, elder care and care for immediate family members with disabilities).

[22] See, e.g., Achieving Work/Family Balance: Employer Best Practices for Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Meeting on the Commission’s Enforcement Guidance on Unlawful Disparate Treatment of Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities (May 23, 2007) [hereinafter Work/Family Balance Meeting] (statement ofHoracio D. Rozanski, Vice President and Chief Personnel Officer of Booz Allen Hamilton; Member of the Hidden Brain Drain Taskforce), available at [hereinafter Rozanski statement] (noting that many women have “work-life challenges that go beyond biological children and the nuclear family,” such as elder-care and extended-family responsibilities); Work/Family Balance Meeting (statement of Dr. Anika K. Warren, Research Director, Catalyst, Inc.), available at [hereinafter Warren statement] (observing that the definition of “family” may vary based on cultural norms and traditions, and may include individuals who are not biologically related to each other).

Sexual orientation and marital status are not protected characteristics under federal employment law. However, state and local law, as well as company policies, may prohibit such discrimination. See, e.g., Human Rights Campaign Foundation, The State of the Workplace for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Americans 2007 – 2008 1(reporting that 20 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 180 cities and counties prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation). Discrimination against caregivers of unmarried partners based on their caregiving responsibilities might violate such state or local prohibitions. In addition, 85 % of Fortune 500 companies and 94 % of Fortune 100 companies protect workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Id. Furthermore, several states prohibit workplace discrimination based on marital status. See, e.g., Alaska Stat. § 18.80.220 (West 2008); Cal. Govt. Code § 12940 (West 2009); Colo. Rev. Stat. § 8-17-101 (2008) (public works); Fla. Stat. Ann. § 760.10 (West 2009); Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. §378-2 (West 2008); 775 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/1-102 (2009); Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 37.2202 (West 2008); Minn. Stat. § 363A.08 (2009); Neb. rev. Stat. § 48-1104 (2008); N.Y. Hum. Rts. Law § 296 (McKinney 2009); N.D. Cent. Code § 34-11.1-04.1 (2008) (state employment); Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 49.60.180 (West 2009); Wis. Stat. Ann. § 111.321 (West 2007). In jurisdictions which prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or marital status, discrimination against caregivers of unmarried partners based on their caregiving responsibilities may be held unlawful.

[23] See, e.g., Caregiver Guidance, supra note 1, at Example 2, available at; Back, 365 F.3d at 115 (elementary school psychologist denied tenure after her superiors repeatedly voiced concerns about her ability to juggle her caregiving and work responsibilities, including comments that it was “not possible for [plaintiff] to be a good mother and have this job” and that her job was “not for a mother”); Santiago-Ramos v. Centennial P.R. Wireless Corp., 217 F.3d 46 (1st Cir. 2000) (telecommunications company director of finance and administration terminated after senior executives questioned how she managed to juggle her work, child care and marital responsibilities; asked how her husband was doing since she was not home to cook for him; and inquired whether plaintiff would be able to do her job after having a second child). Noting that his secretary no longer worked late after having children, one executive commented “that is what happens when we hire females in the child-bearing years.” Id. at 51. See also Trezza v. Hartford, Inc., 1998 WL 912101, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 30, 1998) (defendant commented that working mothers could not effectively juggle both work and caregiving responsibilities, remarking “I don’t see how you can do either job well”); Moore v. Alabama State Univ., 980 F. Supp. 426 (M.D. Ala 1997) (university admissions assistant denied promotion based on defendant’s belief that the position, which required travel, would prevent her from caring for her family).

[24] See, e.g., Caregiver Guidance, supra note 1, at Example 5, available at

[25] See, e.g., Caregiver Guidance, supra note 1, at II.C, available at See also Knussman v. Maryland, 272 F.3d 625, 630 (4th Cir. 2001) (rejecting male plaintiff’s request for leave to care for his wife and newborn baby, defendant declared that plaintiff would qualify as a primary care giver only if his wife were “in a coma or dead”).

[26] See, e.g., Caregiver Guidance, supra note 1, at Examples 7 and 8, available at; Sheehan v. Donlen Corp., 173 F.3d 1039, 1043 (7th Cir. 1999) (accounts manager, a mother of three, terminated and told “[h]opefully this will give you some time to spend at home with your children”); Plaetzer v. Borton Automotive, Inc., 2004 WL 2066770, at *1 (D. Minn. 2004) (sales manager told plaintiff, a mother of four, that she should “do the right thing” and stay home with her children); Trezza, 1998 WL 912101 at *1 (defendant assumed that plaintiff, a mother of two, would not be interested in a promotion to a position that required frequent travel because of her family responsibilities); Bailey v. Scott-Gallaher, Inc., 480 S.E.2d 502, 503(Va. 1997) (defendant terminated plaintiff after she gave birth, contending that “[her] place was at home with her child”).

[27] See, e.g., Caregiver Guidance, supra note 1, at II.A.4, available at; Santiago-Ramos, 217 F.3d at 50-51 (defendant admitted that it preferred to hire single women without children who would give 150 % to their job and expressed concern that women with multiple children would not be able to manage work and family responsibilities); Trezza, 1998 WL 912101, at *2 (defendant commented that “women are not good planners, especially women with kids” and stated that working mothers could not successfully be good mothers and good workers).

[28] See, e.g., Caregiver Guidance, supra note 1, at II.B, available at; Bailey, 480 S.E.2d at 503 (defendant terminated plaintiff because “she was no longer dependable since she had delivered a child . . . babies get sick sometimes and [plaintiff] would have to miss work to care for her child . . . [Defendant] needed someone more dependable”).

[29] See, e.g., Caregiver Guidance, supra note 1, at II.A.3, available at; Gallina v. Mintz, Levin, et. al., 2005 WL 240390 (4th Cir. 2005) (defendant expressed disapproval that plaintiff had not admitted during her interview that she had a child); Back, 365 F.3d at 115 (defendant asked plaintiff how she was “planning on spacing [her] offspring,” requested that she “wait until [her son] was in kindergarten to have another child,” and informed plaintiff that she was being denied tenure so defendant could have another year to “assess [her] child care situation”); Santiago-Ramos, 217 F.3d at 50 (defendant asked plaintiff several times about her ability to juggle work and family responsibilities); Barbano v. Madison County, 922 F.2d 139 (2d Cir. 1990) (female applicant was asked about her plans to start a family and was informed that the hiring official did not want to hire a woman who would get pregnant and quit).

[30] See, e.g., Caregiver Guidance, supra note 1, at II.A.3-4, II.B, available at; Gallina, 2005 WL 240390, at *1-2 (defendant ordered plaintiff to decide whether she wanted to be “a successful mommy or a successful lawyer” and described a “commitment differential” between male and female attorneys, noting that “women lawyers have more demands place[d] on them, and it’s very hard for them to balance when they have a family”); Back, 365 F.3d at 115 (plaintiff’s supervisor requested that plaintiff wait until the supervisor retired before getting pregnant, repeatedly told plaintiff that it was “not possible for [her] to be a good mother and have this job,” and questioned her commitment to her job based on her family responsibilities); Plaetzer, 2004 WL 2066770, at *1 (refusing plaintiff’s request for a fixed schedule during the summer to enable her to make child care arrangements, defendant stated that his wife did not have child care issues, that he did not have to be family friendly and that he did not care about plaintiff’s problems). Defendant also told plaintiff that, as a woman with a family, she would always be at a disadvantage at work. Id. See also Trezza, 1998 WL 912101, at *2 (defendant asserted that “women are not good planners, especially women with kids” and commented that working mothers could not be both good mothers and good workers); Sigmon v. Parker, Chapin, Flattau & Kimpl, 901 F. Supp. 667, 672 (S.D.N.Y. 1995) (defendant commented, in the presence of two pregnant employees, “With all these pregnant women around, I guess we should stop hiring women”); Bailey,480 S.E.2d at 503 (defendant terminated plaintiff based on its belief that she was no longer reliable after having a baby, that she belonged at home with her baby, and that her baby would require her to take time off work).

[31] See, e.g., Santiago-Ramos, 217 F.3d at 51 (a senior executive admitted that he preferred to hire single women without children who would give 150 % to the job; a fellow executive said he did not like women with children working for the company); Trezza, 1998 WL 912101, at *1-2 (defendant passed over plaintiff, a mother of two, to offer promotions to female colleagues without children, despite plaintiff’s qualifications and experience).

[32] See, e.g., Caregiver Guidance, supra note 1, at II.A.3-4, available at See also Lust v. Sealy, Inc., 383 F.3d 580 (7th Cir. 2004) (plaintiff’s manager failed to consider her for a promotion because he assumed, despite plaintiff’s express interest in receiving a promotion, that she would not want to relocate her family); Trezza, 1998 WL 912101, at *1 (defendant assumed that plaintiff, a mother of two, would not be interested in a promotion to a position that required frequent travel because of her family responsibilities).

[33] See, e.g., Caregiver Guidance, supra note 1, at II.D, available at See also Work/Family Balance Meeting, Warren statement, supra note 22 (concluding that women of color confront stereotypes based on gender, race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status that are “uniquely different” than stereotypes confronted by other groups).

[34] See, e.g., Caregiver Guidance, supra note 1, at II.A.2, available at; Phillips v. Martin Marietta Corp., 400 U.S. 542 (1971) (concluding that Title VII prohibits the implementation of distinct hiring policies for women with young children and men with young children); Trezza, 1998 WL 912101, at *1-2 (defendant repeatedly passed over plaintiff, a mother of two, to offer promotions to male colleagues with children, despite plaintiff’s superior qualifications and seniority). See also infra note 35.

[35] See, e.g., Caregiver Guidance, supra note 1, at II.C, available at; Knussman, 272 F.3d at 630 (denying plaintiff’s request for leave to care for his wife and newborn baby, defendant stated that plaintiff could qualify as a primary care giver only if his wife were “in a coma or dead”); Shafer v. Bd. of Pub. Educ., 903 F.2d 243 (3d Cir. 1990) (male teacher denied unpaid leave of absence to care for his son; school policy expressly provided such leave to female employees); Schultz v. Advocate Health & Hosp. Corp., 2002 WL 32154732 (N.D.Ill. Oct. 30, 2002) (male maintenance worker alleged defendant interfered with his FMLA rights and terminated him in retaliation for requesting unpaid leave to care for his parents).

[36] Walker v. Fred Nesbit Distrib. Co., 331 F. Supp. 2d 780 (S.D. Iowa 2004) (defendant denied female truck driver’s request for reassignment to light duty work or imposition of lifting restrictions during her pregnancy but accommodated male employees with temporary disabilities due to non-work-related activities); Stansfield v. O’Reilly Auto., Inc., 2006 WL 1030010 (S.D.Tex. 2006) (defendant refused to permit plaintiff to request assistance lifting objects during her pregnancy, although female employees were routinely invited to solicit assistance from male employees when lifting heavy objects).

[37] A recent Internet search yielded the following organizations. Please note that these are a few examples of U.S. recruitment and staffing agencies that target caregivers. EEOC does not endorse these organizations or vouch for the services they provide by referencing them herein. See, e.g., Employmoms, available at; Ivy Exec, available at; Jobs and Moms, available at; Mom Corps, available at; Momentum Resources, available at; On Ramps, available at; Smart-Moms, available at; Women for Hire, available at; Work-Life Initiative, LLC, available at; W2W Ventures, available at; 2Hats Network, LLC, available at

[38] Women re-entering the workforce after interruptions of service are often significantly disadvantaged. For example, women lose an average of 11% of their earning power when they exit the workforce for less than one year. Sylvia Ann Hewlett & Carolyn Buck Luce, Off-Ramps and On-Ramps: Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success, Harv. Bus. Rev., Mar. 2005, at 43, 46. When women spend three years or more out of the workforce, they lose an average of 37% of their earning power. Id.

[39] For example, consulting firm Booz Allen has reported that it has used a “ramp up, ramp down” flexible work program to contract as needed with current employees and employees who recently exited the workforce. This program enables workers to remain connected to the workplace through small projects and helps them to keep their skills and competencies sharp and updated. The program also enables Booz Allen to contract out projects to trusted workers and helps the company become the “employer of choice” for many former employees, especially mothers, when they decide to re-enter the workforce. Id. at 52. Similarly, investment company Lehman Brothers developed the Encore Program to provide female bankers and traders who had been out of the workforce for several years with opportunities to update their skills and interview for jobs. Ernst & Young, Deloitte & Touche and PriceWaterhouseCoopers have developed similar recruitment programs. See Work/Family Balance Meeting, supra note 22 (testimony of Dr. Anika Warren, Research Director, Catalyst, Inc., and Horacio D. Rozanski, Vice President and Chief Personnel Officer of Booz Allen Hamilton; Member of the Hidden Brain Drain Taskforce), available at

[40] The practice of paying part-time workers at a lower hourly rate than full-time workers might violate the Equal Pay Act. See Lovell v. BBNT Solutions, LLC, 295 F. Supp. 2d 611 (E.D. Va. 2003) (part-time female worker could compare herself with full-time male worker for purposes of establishing a prima facie case under the EPA); Section 10: Compensation Discrimination, § 10-IV F.2.h, EEOC Compliance Manual, Volume II (BNA) (2000) (“employer can justify paying part-time or temporary workers disproportionately less than full-time or permanent workers only if it can show that this justification is related to a legitimate business purpose and is used reasonably in light of that purpose”).

[41] 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et. seq. (2009). The FMLA covers private sector employers with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius. Employees must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months or 1,250 hours. Covered employers are required to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid medical leave during a 12-month period to eligible employees for child birth and newborn care, adoption or foster care placement, care for immediate family members with a serious health condition, or to handle a serious personal health condition. The FMLA was recently updated to provide up to 26 weeks of leave to immediate family members of servicemen and women in certain circumstances. Id. § 2612 (a)(1)(E), (a)(3).See also The 15th Anniversary of the Family Medical Leave Act: Achievements and Next Steps: Hearing Before the House Subcomm. on Workforce Prot., Comm. on Educ. & Labor, 110th Cong. 5-6 (2008) (statement of Debra Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families) (noting that nearly 40 % of workers in the United States work for employers with less than 50 employees and that approximately 25 % of workers had worked for their current employer for 12 months or less).

[42] See, e.g., Work/Family Balance Meeting, supra note 22 (statement of Donna Klein, President and Chief Executive Officer, Corporate Voices for Working Families), available at [hereinafter Klein statement](describing H-E-B Grocery Company’s MedBank sick leave program, which provides paid leave for eligible employees who miss work due to personal illness or injury or the illness or injury of immediate family members, including spouses, children, parents and in-laws, and siblings).

[43] For example, the federal government has a voluntary leave transfer program which enables employees to donate annual leave to other federal employees who have exhausted their available paid leave. 5 U.S.C. § 6331 – 6340 (2009). See also Montgomery County Educ. Ass’n Sick Leave Bank: Rules of Procedure 3-4, 8, available at (providing up to 360 days of leave to qualifying members for extended personal illness or disability purposes).

[44] See, e.g., Work/Family Balance Meeting, Klein statement, supra note 22 (discussing the Marriot, International, Inc. Associate Resource Line, which provides employees with confidential assistance in juggling work and family responsibilities).

[45] See supra notes 5 - 8.

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