July 14, 2021

Our newest report, “Litigation or Clarification? The Impact of Family Responsibilities Discrimination Laws” explores whether and to what extent family responsibilities discrimination laws increase litigation against employers. With the increasing number of employees in the US workforce with family caregiving responsibilities, four states and 191 local jurisdictions have passed laws on family responsibilities discrimination. At the federal level, Senator Cory Booker introduced the Protecting Family Caregivers from Discrimination Act in 2020. Through an in-depth review of lawsuits filed against businesses in the four states with family responsibilities discrimination statutes, WorkLife Law research found that the annual likelihood a company will be sued under a family responsibilities discrimination law is essentially zero (0.001%). Our data demonstrates how the passage of family responsibilities discrimination statutes does not meaningfully increase litigation rates, potentially because explicitly labeling the protected category of workers provides clarity that may help employers avoid litigation.

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