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Mom alleges in lawsuit she was fired for kids’ noise while working from home

DNY59 / iStockBy Nicole Pelletiere via GMA

(SAN DIEGO) — A California mother who was working from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic said she was let go from her job over her kids being noisy while she was on work calls.

Drisana Rios, an insurance account executive, is now suing her former employer for gender discrimination and wrongful termination.

“He said, ‘The kids could be heard on business calls with clients. It’s unprofessional,'” Rios of San Diego, told “Good Morning America.”

In the complaint, Rios, mom to a 4-year-old and an infant, alleges coronavirus closures left her with no child care options. She said she was juggling children’s lunches, nursing and nap schedules while trying to work at the same time.

Rios also claims in the lawsuit even though she told her boss her schedule allowed for afternoon calls, her boss continued scheduling calls during the lunch hour, yet would complain about hearing noise from her kids.

“I’m meeting the deadlines, I’m working so hard,” Rios said to “GMA.” “There’s times when I’m working at night too, to make up for anything that needs to be done for the next day.”

ABC News reached out to Rios’ employer, HUB International, regarding the lawsuit.

A spokesman said, “While we can’t comment on pending litigation, HUB is proud to have successfully transitioned 90% of its 12,000-plus employees to working remotely from home throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

LinkedIn expert Catherine Fisher said parents may need to renegotiate expectations while working from home without child care.

“You really want to make sure you’re setting yourself up for success by creating those boundaries,” Fisher told “GMA.” Think through what you need to do to be successful working from home and what your employer needs from you, but also what your family needs. You’d be surprised at how many people on the other end of that computer screen are dealing with the exact same thing.”

Becky Worley, ABC News’ technology and consumer contributor, said working parents often feel as if they’re failing at everything — especially during the pandemic.

Worley offered a suggestion to mothers and fathers thinking about taking leave.

“The Families First Coronavirus Response Act offers some relief for qualifying employees,” she explained.

The act states that a caregiver may take leave “… to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.”

Under the act, qualifying parents could receive full or partial pay for up to 12 weeks.

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