Technical Guidance for Lawyers

The Program on WorkLife Law provides technical guidance to management and plaintiff-side lawyers.

Management attorneys
  • Information on how employers can implement a usable and effective family friendly policy. We share with management attorneys information on existing best practices and models for employer work/life programs. In addition, we provide information on the economic benefits to employers providing all workers access to work/life policies, regardless of economic level or family status. Finally, we developed a usability test that management attorneys can share with employers to ascertain whether they have a usable and effective work/life program.

  • Information on unconscious bias against mothers and other family caregivers. We provide information and resource materials that management attorneys can use to educate their clients on the role of unconscious bias against family caregivers in management decision making, how it can lead to discriminatory conduct, and what steps employers can take to diminish unconscious bias in decision making.

  • Information on how to implement a viable part-time policy in law firms. Through our Program on Attorney Retention and Program on Attorney Retention (www.pardc.org) and our Final Report (available on the website), we provide information and resources to law firm employers seeking to develop and implement an effective and usable work/life program.

  • Information on family friendly programs in corporate counsel offices. We are initiating a new PAR project, in which we will be addressing the work/life issues of attorneys in corporate counsel offices. For further information, you may consult www.parc.org.

Attorneys representing workers
  • Information on the potential for recovery. Based on our comprehensive survey of state and federal statutes and caselaw, we provide technical guidance and support to attorneys representing workers who feel they have been discriminated against because of their family caregiving responsibilities. Our research has revealed that employees are beginning to recover in suits brought by family caregivers under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and numerous state laws and public policy doctrines.

  • Inventory of sociological, psychological and demographic research documenting the continuing high levels of family care and the economic marginalization of mothers; an index of skilled experts available to provide technical support on demographics, cognitive bias, and other areas unique to this area of law; and a survey of literature on the role of cognitive bias in discrimination against family caregivers. Click here to view comments the Program submitted with NOWLDEF regarding September 11 Victim Compensation Fund of 2001: Unpaid Work of Full-Time Workers As Economic Loss.

  • Information on how to implement a viable part-time policy in law firms. Through our Project on Attorney Retention and Program on Attorney Retention (www.pardc.org) and our Final Report (available on the website), we provide information and resources to law firm employers seeking to develop and implement an effective and usable work/life program.

  • Information on family friendly programs in corporate counsel offices. We are initiating a new PAR project, in which we will be addressing the work/life issues of attorneys in corporate counsel offices. For further information, you may consult the PAR website at www.pardc.org.

  • Information on union contracts and grievance decisions. We have identified and provide information pertaining to workers' rights to fulfill their family caregiving responsibilities under collective bargaining agreements.
We are also surveying ongoing work/family litigation and starting a document bank of complaints, motions, pleadings and briefs which will be accessible to other plaintiffs' attorneys. If you are interested in sharing information with us related to litigation you have brought, or you would like further information, please contact us at workfamily@wcl.american.edu.