Drisana Rios found herself like many parents once the coronavirus shutdown began. She started working from home with her two children -- a 4-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son.
When workers at Hub International were told they were to work remotely, the regional boss sent employees who were parents an email, reading in part, “thank you for the incredible effort you are putting forth through these difficult times.” The email also said the company would avoid layoffs while the pandemic continued, KGTV reported.
But Rios is suing, saying it wasn’t the bottom line that caused her firing on June 2. Instead, she said the global insurance brokerage firm discriminated against her gender and retaliated against her, wrongly firing her.
Rios said she once she started teleworking in March, she met all deadlines, working late when needed when she couldn’t meet them during the day.
She said in the suit that she requested that her supervisor to schedule calls for afternoons due to her child’s schedule but that he would schedule the conferences at lunchtime, the same time she would be feeding her kids or at the time she was preparing her child down for a nap.
Rios also claims her male supervisor made “sexist statements” and that he had a bias against mothers, the Times reported.
Rios said he complained that her children were making noise during conference calls, KGTV reported, but clients never said anything to her about it being an issue.
Rios said she was told to discuss “time-management issues” with an additional supervisor and she was accused of being defensive and he was “tired of accommodating” her, the Times reported.
Rios complained to her company’s human resources office about the alleged treatment before she was fired, KGTV reported.
She is now suing Hub International for back pay and compensation.
Hub International won’t comment on the litigation other than to say that it has more than 12,000 employees with 90% of them working from home.
Rios, though, has not just asked the courts to weigh in. She also posted her situation to social media two weeks ago.
So what can a working parent do to prevent the impact of being a mom, or a dad, from affecting their job while working remotely during the pandemic?
Catherine Fisher, an expert from LinkedIn, said you may need to talk to your boss to discuss expectations while working from home when children are there, “Good Morning America” reported.
Fisher said set boundaries and think about not only what your employer needs but what you need to do to make it happen while still fulfilling family obligations.
Also, if you feel like you can’t balance both work and family simultaneously while the pandemic continues, there are options for a leave of absence, ABC News contributor Becky Worley suggested.
For more details on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, click here.
© 2020 Cox Media Group