Fired over noisy kids during remote work call | Employment Rights

CTV News is reporting that a California mother has filed a lawsuit against her former employer, alleging she was let go after being told repeatedly to keep her children quiet during work calls.

Drisana Rios says that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her employer has shifted her to remote work from home. Because she has no childcare option, she must juggle her job along with the stewardship of a one-year-old and four-year-old.

CTV reports that Rios and her employer had a mutual agreement that her weekday work hours would run as follows:

  • 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for job-related duties; and
  • One hour at 11:30 a.m. for lunch

Within her first week under this new schedule, she received a complaint from her employer. He told her that he didn’t “want to hear the kids on business calls, I don’t think its professional.”

Following her employer’s comments, Rios discussed her situation and experience with the company’s human resources department.

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The employee claims that harassment and multiple complaints from her boss continued over a three month period, until she was let go a week after having a frank phone call with the employer.

Rios spoke out about her experience in a popular post on Instagram.


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

The mother of two says that she remains unemployed, but has received an outpouring of support from other mothers attempting to balance work and childcare during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Lior Samfiru is a Toronto employment lawyer and co-founding partner at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP.

Samfiru said that, apart from Rio’s termination not being cause for dismissal, it is also potentially discrimination based on family status (at least in Canada).

“An employer cannot discriminate against or punish an employee because of family responsibilities,” said Samfiru. “In fact, an employer has a duty to accommodate such situations.”

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