Achieving an appropriate work-life balance has always been a challenge. Yet, it has never been more challenging than it is now, with the global COVID-19 pandemic leading many people to work remotely from their homes.
Working from home can be stressful, especially for parents with children at home. However, it seems that many working parents are not only facing stress during this time, but also increasing discrimination.
Report: Working mother confronted with unfair treatment
Although Piro Zinna Cifelli Paris & Genitempo LLC is not involved in this California case, it involves an important and growing issue that individuals are facing in the workplace.
The New York Times recently reported that a California woman is suing her former employer, alleging that her employer fired her in retaliation for her children making noise in the background while she was on business calls.
The woman reported that she faced increasingly unfair treatment while trying to balance working from home and caring for her children. She filed several complaints with Human Resources, which included concerns about the sexist comments she endured and how her supervisor continued to schedule calls when she had to feed her children.
This pervasive issue might only get worse over time
Unfortunately, even with a pandemic, this is not a new issue. Parents – specifically working mothers – have faced discriminatory treatment in the workplace for many years. Experts report that the situation the global pandemic has created could lead to many more cases of caregiving discrimination, including:
- Poor treatment;
- Termination; and
- Hour or pay cuts.
This issue is not unique to California – working parents all across the country could face these challenges.
What can working parents do in this situation?
It is important to note that New Jersey and federal laws do not explicitly state that caregiver discrimination is illegal. Even so, there are several situations where such poor treatment can lead to forms of unlawful discrimination.
For example, the California case involves charges of:
- Gender discrimination;
- Retaliation; and
- Wrongful termination.
Pregnancy discrimination is often involved in these cases as well.
Even if forms of unlawful discrimination result from unfair treatment, parents in these situations should still consider speaking with an experienced employment attorney, such as those at Piro Zinna Cifelli Paris & Genitempo, LLC, to determine how they can protect their rights.