Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 59–83 | Cite as

Eldercare and Childcare: How Does Caregiving Responsibility Affect Job Discrimination?

  • Christine A. Henle
  • Gwenith G. FisherEmail author
  • Jean McCarthy
  • Mark A. Prince
  • Victoria P. Mattingly
  • Rebecca L. Clancy
Original Paper


Despite rising legal claims, little research has examined discrimination against job applicants or employees because of their family caregiving responsibilities. Across three studies, we examine discrimination in hiring and starting salary decisions among equally qualified job applicants based on their elder, child, or sandwiched caregiving responsibilities. In study 1, primary caregiving parents were less likely to be hired, were offered lower salaries, and were rated as less competent, committed, available, and agentic, compared to non-primary caregiving parents. In study 2, primary child and elder caregivers were less likely to be hired and received lower salaries, and they were evaluated more negatively on job-related factors than non-caregivers, especially if they were female. In study 3, primary sandwiched caregivers (i.e., those responsible for both elder and child care) were less likely to be hired and were given lower salaries than primary child caregivers in a male-dominated job. Sandwiched caregivers were evaluated more negatively than other caregivers in both female- and male-dominated jobs.


Family responsibility discrimination Employment discrimination Work-family Eldercare Childcare Sandwich generation Gender Hiring 



This research was supported by the Mountains and Plains Education and Research Center, Grant T42OH009229, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine A. Henle
    • 1
  • Gwenith G. Fisher
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Jean McCarthy
    • 5
  • Mark A. Prince
    • 2
  • Victoria P. Mattingly
    • 2
  • Rebecca L. Clancy
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ManagementColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  3. 3.Department of Environmental and Occupational HealthColorado School of Public HealthAuroraUSA
  4. 4.Survey Research CenterUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  5. 5.Kemmy Business SchoolUniversity of LimerickLimerickIreland

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