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Family discrimination lawsuits growing rapidly in the workplace

There are plenty of reasons to feel discriminated against, and many of these reasons are protected by law. For instance, if you're disabled, your employer can't fire you simply for that reason. That's the same as if you age while you're with the company; you can't just be fired because you're older than other employees. Your employer also has to be reasonable if you need special accommodations on the job because of an injury or pregnancy. If your employer isn't reasonable, then you can usually file a lawsuit.

These are common types of discrimination that are thought of when discrimination lawsuits are filed, but a new type is in the news today. According to one article, more people are filing lawsuits claiming family responsibilities discrimination. What is that, though?

It's essentially a lawsuit filed because a worker feels he or she has been treated unfairly because of fatherhood, motherhood, pregnancy, or having to take care of a family member with a disability who has fallen ill. Many new lawsuits are arising as family members have to take care of elderly family members and their obligations.

A rapidly growing number of cases are a result of pregnancy; women feel they are being treated unfairly because they chose to have a family. They claim in many of these cases that their employers are failing to provide the legally mandated accommodations required due to pregnancy.

When these cases go to trial, employees win around 67 percent of the cases. In cases where settlements are attempted, employees win in 52 percent of the cases.

Source: The Kansas City Star, "The discrimination lawsuit you didn’t see coming," Diane Stafford, May 19, 2016

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