Wednesday, April 25, 2007
When I recently interviewing author Leslie Bennetts, she told me that when managers learn someone is a mom, they are reluctant to hire them. I think most working parents would agree that kids are a major distraction from work, whether through sleep deprivation or unexpected absences from work due to school days off or children's sick days. Part of me understands a manager's reluctance.
But working moms also happen to make up some of the most experienced and loyal employees. Is it right then for a worker to be turned away because she's a mom? Is it right for her to be fired for taking a day off to care for a sick child or to bring a child with her to work in an emergency? Joan Williams at the University of California Hastings College of the Law discovered these type of firings happens more often than you would think, especially among the working class. Click here for her report One Sick Child Away from Being Fired: When Opting Out Isn't an Option.
In my column today in The Miami Herald, I quoted lawyers who said work/family conflicts regularly lead to firings in Florida, but there's little recourse. Of course, there are parents who abuse employers' good will, but there are real emergencies too. I don't think giving someone the ax is the right way to go, do you?