The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) early this week issued a new guidance on employers responsibilities and obligations regarding employees who may be caregivers for children, elderly or other vulnerable individuals relative to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact that it may have had on them and their ability to work. The agency reiterated that discrimination against a caregiver may be illegal under certain federal employment laws. Released in the form of an updated FAQ, EEOC noted that both male and female employees may be caregivers and cautioned that employers may not punish female employees more harshly for absences or missed deadlines than similarly situated male employees. Further, it explained that employers should also not deny men leave or permission to work a flexible schedule if such requests would be granted for similarly situated women. The FAQ goes on to state that the same holds true for LGBTQ applicants and/or employees who seek accommodations for caregiving requirements if such request would be granted for other employees. It goes on to emphasize the applicability of the same restrictions against employees based on their association with an individual with a disability up to and including a diagnosis of “long-COVID.”