Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Says Employers Can Discriminate Against Parents, Not Simply Against Moms

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued some federal guidelines regarding job discrimination last month saying that while women cannot be singled out for discrimination because they’re pregnant or because they’re mothers or caregivers, "it could be permissible under federal law for example, for a company to refuse to hire parents – as long as the rule is sex-blind affecting fathers and mothers equally," according to Sue Shellenbarger writing in the Wall Street Journal." It's discrimination based on sex roles that is being targeted. Nor are parents entitled to special accommodations. An attorney who is demoted for missing work and deadlines because she can't find child care doesn't have a case, the EEOC says; she's being fairly penalized for failing to do her job."According to the EEOC  it’s illegal to treat fathers differently than mothers, employers cannot reassign "a woman to less desirable projects based on the assumption that, as a new mother, she will be less committed to her job," and they cannot reduce a woman’s workload "based on the assumption that, as a female caregiver, she will not want to work overtime." (June 2007)