One of my clients was recently featured in an article on bloomberg.com. The article, Parents Say Employers Are Illegally Firing Them During Pandemic, discusses the surge of discrimination lawsuits filed by parents who have lost their jobs during over the last 9 months. It tells the story of specific people, including my client, who are in this situation.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act
According to the article, most of these lawsuits stem from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This Act, passed into law in March, provides ten extra weeks of paid parental leave. The three examples of lawsuits highlighted in the article include:
- The termination of a working mother because her baby made too much noise on conference calls.
- An employee who was told to “keep your mouth shut” when asking for time off to care for his children.
- The resignation of an employee after she received threats of a demotion if she took parental leave.
Employers Must Follow the Law
These three examples are just the tip of the iceberg. I have been getting calls from employees who are facing similar circumstances. Likewise, I am receiving calls from employees who feel that their employers are not making reasonable accommodations regarding COVID-19. In many cases, the behavior of employers is unfortunate if not appalling. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act financially protects people during this pandemic. Understandably, businesses have also felt a financial impact. Successful businesses can afford to hire and keep workers. This is an obvious statement, but employers must also follow the law in their efforts to sustain their business. It is in the best interests of the employer to work with employees and make accommodations where possible. Failure to do so may result in more parental leave, retaliation claims, and discrimination lawsuits filed by parents.
For employees suffering adverse reactions from your employer, call me to discuss your personal situation. The pandemic is not an excuse for discrimination or retaliation. You have rights and the law to protect you.