Family Responsibilities Discrimination (FRD) is Illegal
While family responsibilities discrimination (FRD) is currently illegal under an array of state and federal laws, to date only two states and a number of localities prohibit it explicitly FRD is a widespread and costly problem for employers and employees alike. WLL believes that to be effective, any public policy effort to address FRD should both prevent unfair caregiver discrimination against workers and provide clarity to allow employers to meet their business needs without running afoul of the law.
State Law/Legislation Tracker
- Pending Legislation to Expressly Prohibit FRD Several states have considered or are currently considering legislation to explicitly prohibit FRD. Download our state legislation tracker for details and links.
- Existing State Laws Expressly Prohibiting FRD FRD is currently illegal under an array of state and federal laws. To date, two states and a number of localities expressly include family responsibilities in their laws prohibiting employment discrimination, including:
- Alaska includes “parenthood” in its employment discrimination protections (Alaska Statute § 18.80.220 ).
- The District of Columbia includes “family responsibilities” in its employment discrimination protections (D.C. Human Rights Act §§ 2-1401.01, 2-1401.02(12), 2-1402.11, 2-1411.02 )
- At least 63 localities (cities and counties) in 22 states include “family status,” “family responsibilities,” ”parenthood,” or “parental status in their employment discrimination protections. (See WorkLife Law’s report on local FRD laws for details.)
- Connecticut (Conn. General Statute § 46a-60(a)(9)) prohibits employers from requesting or requiring information relating to “familial responsibilities” from an applicant or employee.
- New Jersey (N.J. Administrative Code 4A:7-3.1 ) prohibits employment discrimination against state employees on the basis of “familial status.”
- Federal Executive Order 13152 prohibits employment discrimination against federal government employees on the basis of “status as a parent.”
Reports & Publications
WLL and Sloan Work and Family Research Network Policy Brief: Addressing Family Responsibilities Discrimination – This brief provides facts on FRD and information for policymakers.
Caregivers as a Protected Class?: The Growth of State and Local Laws Prohibiting Family Responsibilities Discrimination - This report provides a comprehensive survey of state and local FRD laws.