This section illustrates various circumstances under which discrimination against a worker with caregiving responsibilities constitutes unlawful disparate treatment under Title VII or the ADA. Part A discusses sex-based disparate treatment of female caregivers, focusing on sex-based stereotypes. Part B discusses stereotyping and other disparate treatment of pregnant workers. Part C discusses sex-based disparate treatment of male caregivers, such as the denial of childcare leave that is available to female workers. Part D discusses disparate treatment of women of color who have caregiving responsibilities. Part E discusses disparate treatment of a worker with caregiving responsibilities for an individual with a disability, such as a child or a parent. Finally, part F discusses harassment resulting in a hostile work environment for a worker with caregiving responsibilities.
The prohibition against sex discrimination under Title VII has made it easier for women to enter the labor force. Since Congress enacted Title VII, the proportion of women who work outside the home has significantly increased, and women now comprise nearly half of the U.S. labor force. The rise has been most dramatic for mothers of young children, who are almost twice as likely to be employed today as were their counterparts 30 years ago. The total amount of time that couples with children spend working also has increased. Income from womens employment is important to the economic security of many families, particularly among lower-paid workers, and accounts for over one-third of the income in families where both parents work. Despite these changes, women continue to be most families primary caregivers.
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