Woman sues former employer, claims she was fired because children disrupted working from home during coronavirus pandemic

Woman sues former employer, claims she was wrongfully fired

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.

Rios, however, was fired, with her company, Hub International, officially saying COVID-19 affected the company’s revenue, The New York Times reported.

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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.

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

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.

FILE PHOTO: A woman says she was fired after her kids made too much noise while she worked from home during the pandemic.
FILE PHOTO: A woman says she was fired after her kids made too much noise while she worked from home during the pandemic. (Tang Ming Tung/Getty Images)