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Judge's gavel sitting on desk Over the past two decades, many employers have found themselves increasingly on the receiving end of lawsuits based on claims of family responsibilities discrimination. (Photo: Shutterstock)

For many employers, caregivers remain invisible, even though one in six people in the workforce are caregivers at any given time. Because of a fear that it will impact their job or career, more than 50% of caregivers do not report their family challenges to their employer. On average, these challenges cause family caregivers to spend an additional 23 hours per week caring for their loved one, on top of work and other responsibilities. The extra time required to care on the home front often has a significant impact on the work front, especially when it comes to retention and recruitment. For example, 41% of working Americans reduce their work hours to accommodate their caregiving responsibilities and 13% have resigned from their jobs.

The impact on both employees (and their employers) doesn’t end there, however. The 50% of caregivers who do disclose their caregiving status at work too often face discrimination because of a pervasive stigma that caregivers cannot meet their job responsibilities. After all, what employer doesn’t want to hire “ideal” workers or have high expectations about their performance—individuals who always show up on time, have no restrictions on the hours they can work, and don’t take unpredictable time off.

 

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