Men in California could suffer workplace discrimination

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), more men are filing discrimination claims against their employers. The reason for the spike in workplace discrimination suits is tied to the fact that more men are choosing to take on a care giving role for children as well as disabled or ill family members. While this social shift is clearly demonstrated in a range of statistical data, California workplaces have been slow to adapt to the change.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau suggests that the number of fathers who choose to stay home and care for their children has jumped from 81,000 in 2001 to approximately 176,000 in 2011. In addition, a study by the Pew Research Center tells us that of all caregivers who are providing care to family members with Alzheimer's or dementia, 45 percent are male, whereas in 1996 that number was only 19 percent.

The EEOC claims that caregiver discrimination against men is on a steady rise. Discrimination cases filed by men increased by 300 percent between 2001 and 2010. The problem appears to be widespread, and affects male workers in the corporate world as well as service industries.

When a man feels that he has been subjected to workplace discrimination based on the fact that he has taken on a role as caregiver, there are a number of steps that must take place. One early action involves determining his rights under California law. It is also important to document the discriminatory actions as carefully as possible. In many cases, employers are far less guarded in their discriminatory acts against male employees, and will make blatant comments concerning the issue; these comments should be noted, as well as the presence of any witnesses. Such evidence can become central to proving a discrimination claim in a court of law.

Source: CNN Money, "More male caregivers, more discrimination at work," David Koeppel, Feb. 5, 2013

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