Gone are the days when women were expected to stay home and the decision of a father to stay with his children would have been received with either confusion or disdain. Due to evolving perceptions of gender roles in the home, more and more men are choosing to act as either a primary or an equally situated caregiver of children.
The ability of every family to choose their own path according to their needs is valuable and should be honored. Unfortunately, the kind of caregiver discrimination that was formerly reserved for women in the workplace is now increasingly being directed at those men who choose to play a greater physical role in their children's upbringing.
In fact, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has reported a marked increase in the number of men who are lodging workplace discrimination complaints related to their care of children or other vulnerable family members.
In the ten year period between 2001 and 2011, the number of American fathers choosing to stay home with their children jumped from 81,000 to more than 176,000. Yet despite this major increase, corporate policies related to full-time parents reentering the workplace generally continue to omit the needs of full-time dads. In addition, the kinds of flex options often available to women in the workforce are often not available to men.
Caregiver discrimination is a pressing concern in today's workforce, for both men and women alike. Individuals being affected by this kind of institutionalized discrimination should seek counsel for any questions they may have about exercising their rights.
Source: CNNMoney, "More male caregivers, more discrimination at work," David Koeppel, Feb. 5, 2013