Mommy Bias – Truth or Fiction?

The so-called “anti-Mommy bias” has garnered a lot of attention recently. A type of workplace discrimination, “anti-Mommy bias” is also known as maternal profiling, or family responsibility discrimination. (See this recent article in the Cincinnati Enquirer and my earlier post on Family Responsibility Discrimination).

Sketch of woman balancing baby and briefcase

Groups such as the Center for WorkLife Law and 9to5, National Organization of Working Women, have reported alarming statistics regarding the increase in this type of discrimination. Kohl’s was recently hit with a multi-million dollar verdict (for allegedly discriminating against one of its managers because she was a mother.

Nevertheless, a recent survey suggests that the mommy bias may be more fiction than reality. According to the survey, only 15% of mothers say that becoming a mother has had a negative impact on their career, while 65% say that it has had no impact on their career path. If these survey results are correct, the problem may not be as widespread as it seems.

Nonetheless, given the national attention to this topic, and the EEOC’s focus on it (see EEOC’s Guidance on Caregiver Discrimination), I expect we will continue to see a rise in these types of claims. For tips on avoiding this type of claim, see the free corresponding handout, which can be downloaded from my prior post.

[H/T to Ohio Employer’s Law Blog]

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