Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis has a Coronavirus Response Team. Contact Jon Hyman to help with how your business should
continue to respond to this national emergency.


Thursday, July 9, 2020

Coronavirus Update 7-9-2020: The 6th nominee for the “worst employer of 2020” is … the working mom sacker


Let this woman's Instagram post sink in, and then let’s talk about why it's wrong to fire a mom working from home (allegedly) because she has to spend some time tending to her children.

View this post on Instagram

| 28 days ago I finally had enough of the 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 that my boss was giving me for him not being okay with hearing my kids in the background on calls.|😭😡😖💔 . He wanted me to figure out a way to keep the kids quiet 😣. I went to Human Resources with proof of what was going for the last 3 months and 7 days later AFTER that 𝗜 𝗴𝗼𝘁 𝗳𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗱!!!! 😭 They told me that I should be happy that the outcome to my career there could have been worse. I’m crying as I type this...😭 I was told I had a bright future. That I was doing very well in my position! 💔💔💔😭💔😭 . The last 3 months I have worked around the clock from home while watching my two toddlers😭. I have met all the deadlines they have asked me for, even the unrealistic ones. The situation that I had endured the last 3 months is beyond stressful😭. How does a company that says that they understand and will work around the schedule of parents do the complete opposite with their actions? 😭 I’m devastated. I have poured hours, tears, sweats, delayed giving my child a snack when he wanted one because my boss needed me to do something right away. And what did I get in return? 𝗙𝗜𝗥𝗘𝗗!!! 😭😭😭😭😭 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭 . They can keep the 𝗵𝘂𝘀𝗵 money they offered to not bring this up🚫🛑✋! No working mother should be discriminated against , especially during these times for not being able to keep my 𝟭 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿 𝗼𝗹𝗱 𝗾𝘂𝗶𝗲𝘁 for a business call 😡For not being able to turn something around in 5 minutes when my baby wants a snack😡. We are in tough times right now. This situation would have been temporary. None of my clients had issues with my kids in the background. 𝗜'𝗺 𝗴𝗼𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝗳𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗺𝗼𝗺 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝗴𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 ! 𝗜𝘁'𝘀 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗼𝗸𝗮𝘆!!!💪. IT’S NOT OKAY to have to feel that your boss is making you pick your work over your kids during these times!!!𝗜𝘁'𝘀 𝗡𝗢𝗧 𝗢𝗞𝗔𝗬!!! #justice

A post shared by Hi, I'm 𝗗𝗿𝗶𝘀| MODERN CALI MOM (@moderncalimom) on


10 News San Diego fills in the details:

A San Diego mother says working from home during the coronavirus pandemic cost her her job. She claims she was fired because her kids were making noises in the background of her teleconference calls …

Like many parents, Rios was unable to find childcare for her four-year-old daughter and one-year-old son. Despite juggling parenting and working from home, Rios claims she was able to complete all her tasks. She adds that her clients never complained about her kids being in the background of her conference calls. The only complaints, she says, came from her male, direct superior.

"I said, 'Do you want me to lock my kids in the room? My one-year-old in the room? Do you want me to do that?' And… he responded and said, 'Figure it out.'" Rios said.

She says she tried to arrange calls to be during her children's afternoon naptimes but claims her boss continued to ignore and demean her.

"He would purposely overlap schedules," Rios said.

According to research conducted by Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom, 42 percent of the U.S. labor force is currently working from home full-time. It an ideal way to stay safe and promote physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it's less than ideal for other reasons, especially if you have young children at home. For example, we've all seen more than one viral video of a child interrupting a Zoom meeting. (Personally, I had one interrupted by my dogs loudly fighting over a toy. After my apology, my clients said it was the best distraction they had all week.) 

Work from home calls for understanding, compassion, and flexibility, not hard lines in the sand, deceit, and termination. If an employee is working well from home, being productive and timely, and putting out a quality work product (as Ms. Rios says she was), let it be. There will come a time when everyone could return to the office, but now is not that time. Work from him is going to be the "new normal" for many for the foreseeable future. If we can't work with it, we are going to lose too many good employees.

Moreover, it's just plain illegal to fire a woman based on her parental responsibilities if you don't hold similarly situated male employees to the same standard. As Suzanne Lucas writes at Inc.com: "If you enforce hours and quiet backgrounds for females but not for males, you'll violate sex discrimination laws. So, you can't call it cute when Joe's baby shows up on film but unprofessional when Caroline's toddler shows up. It's all or nothing."

No working mother should be discriminated against. That's called sex discrimination. It's also flat-out wrong to fire an employee in these circumstances, and it might just make you the worst employer of 2020.