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59 Hastings L.J. 1463 (2007-2008)
Old Problem, New Tactic: Making the Case for Legislation to Combat Employment Discrimination Based on Family Caregiver Status

handle is hein.journals/hastlj59 and id is 1503 raw text is: Old Problem, New Tactic:
Making the Case for Legislation to Combat
Employment Discrimination Based on Family
Caregiver Status
Just before Heidi Philipsen was offered a position at the University
of Michigan, she was asked one last question by a supervisor who said:
I've got an offer for you. Before I give it to you, I have a question...
Are you sure you don't want to stay at home to be with your
After Kristy Ackerman was terminated while on maternity leave,
her employer offered this reassurance: [T]he way I see it, it is a win-win
situation for you[-]you get to stay [at] home with your new babies and
draw unemployment at the same time.2
Firefighter and single father Derek Tisinger was denied a promotion
after availing himself of the fire department's commonly used shift-
trading policy because he used shift trading to cover childcare
obligations. Tisinger was counseled to explore alternative methods of
* Noreen Farrell is a litigating attorney with Equal Rights Advocates (ERA), a legal advocacy
organization located in San Francisco, California devoted to the civil rights of women and girls, that
focuses on impact litigation, free advice and counseling, legislation, and policy work. In 2007, ERA
was one of the co-sponsors of California Senate Bill 836, which proposed legislation to amend the
California Fair Employment and Housing Act to expressly prohibit employment discrimination based
on familial status.
** Genevieve Guertin is a former ERA intern who received her J.D. from the University of
California, Hastings College of the Law, in 2008. The Authors thank the Center for Work Life Law at
University of California, Hastings College of the Law, its Director, Professor Joan Williams, and
Associate Director, Stephanie Bornstein, as well as Hastings Professor David Faigman for their
research, guidance, and invaluable feedback with respect to this Article.
i. Philipsen v. Univ. of Mich., No. o6-CV-II977-DT, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25898, at *7-8 (E.D.
Mich. Mar. 22, 2007).
2. Ackerman v. Quilcene Sch. Dist., No. 29300-5-II, 2003 Wash. App. LEXIS 1711, at *6 (Wash.
Ct. App. July 29, 2003).


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