6 July 2020 by Aimee Pace
Families across the country and the world have had to change their lives to suit a COVID-19 lifestyle that is unlike any we have lived before.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, more and more people are reporting having to do more work now than ever before with less time to tend to their families or home life.
Working from home and managing child care, remote learning and still staying healthy has proven particularly difficult and it seems one mom in San Diego, US has had little to no consideration from her former employer.
Flexible and remote work have become common place amid the coronavirus pandemic but Dris Wallace experienced the opposite after being fired from her full time job because her boss did not want to hear her children in the background of their Zoom calls. Both of Wallace’s children are under the age of five.
In what has now become a viral Instagram post, Wallace explains that she was fired after bringing the issue that her boss was discriminating against her for being a mother, to Human Resources.
She explains that despite meeting all her required deadlines and working around the clock, she was let go and even offered money to keep hush about her experience.
Wallace decided to speak out about the injustice and has since been heard by moms everywhere.
“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,” Wallace wrote. “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!!!!”
Wallace has since filed a number of claims at the San Diego Super Court including gender discrimination, failure to prevent discrimination and wrongful termination. She says she will continue to fight for all mothers who are treated unfairly.
“I’m going to fight for every mom that has gone through this. It’s not okay to have to have to feel that your boss is making you pick your work over your kids during these times.”
It is important to note that Wallace’s situation is out of her control and that it is neither legal nor moral to fire someone or discriminate against them for things they have no power over.
In South Africa, Section Nine of the Constitution protects citizens against discrimination. It guarantees that everyone is equal before the law and may not be unfairly discriminated against on the basis of race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.
The Employment Equity Act and the Labour Relations Act both have provisions to protect employees against unfair discrimination based on the above grounds.
Source: Cape Town Etc at https://www.capetownetc.com/world/parent-fired-over-kids-in-background-of-zoom-call/