There has been a 400% increase in number of caregiver lawsuits since 1995. Legal complaints by workers claiming unequal treatment based on caregiver status, also known as family responsibility discrimination (FRD) increased dramatically according to the Center for WorkLife Law, a nonprofit research and advocacy group.
With the increase in special need children, young adults coming back from military duty seeking parental help with their traumatic injuries, those with older parents requiring significant day to day support are all examples of employees who may have significant caregiver responsibilities.
The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) has added caregivers to their list of systemic discrimination. Lawsuits in the FRD arena have a 40% chance of the plaintiff prevailing with an average judgment of $800,000.
The EEOC has established some best practices so that employers may avoid employment decisions based on caregiver stereotypes: http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/caregiver-best-practices.html