With the challenges that have been created by the current pandemic, more and more people are wearing the dual “hats” of employee and caregiver for children or seniors. Whether you are a man or a woman, it is possible to face employment discrimination because you care for those family members, whether they’re your kids, your grandchildren, parents or other elders. While the Fair Employment and Housing Act does not currently list family responsibilities discrimination as a specific cause for suing and collecting damages, that doesn’t mean that you cannot win a case based on the workplace discrimination you suffered due to your family responsibilities. There potentially may be avenues available under the FEHA, so be sure to reach out to an experienced Oakland employment attorney about your situation.
D.R. was someone who allegedly faced this difficulty. She was an account executive for an insurance brokerage firm in San Diego, and was also a mom to two young children. According to a New York Times report, when the governor issued a statewide stay-at-home order, the executive began working from home. At home, she managed her work duties and also tended to her children (for whom she could not find childcare due to the stay-at-home order.)
Allegedly, the executive’s supervisor was not happy with D.R.’s juggling work and kids, and took several discriminatory actions, such as assigning her several tasks with “rush” deadlines (even though those tasks weren’t actually urgent) and frequently scheduling conference calls during the lunch hour, even though the supervisor knew that D.R. would be either nursing her youngest, feeding her oldest or putting the younger child down for a nap. The supervisor allegedly did this even after the executive stated that afternoon calls would be better as the younger child would be napping during that period, according to the Times report. D.R.’s supervisor reprimanded her after her children were heard on a call with a client, calling it “unprofessional,” and later told D.R. to “take care of your kid situation,” in addition to making many other sexist statements that demonstrated a clear bias against mothers, according to the mother’s lawsuit.