How Employment Attorneys Can Help Single Moms
Discrimination happens in the workplace based on sex and the individual’s marital status, especially for single mothers. A significant number of mothers are prone to this form of discrimination.
Workplace discrimination against single mothers is classified under marital status discrimination. It can be in many states, some more obvious and some subtle. For instance, single moms may be passed over for hiring, denied a promotion, subjected to discriminatory or offensive comments from supervisors, and dismissed from a position.
You can always hire an attorney, such as HKM Employment Attorneys, to challenge a discriminatory decision at the workplace, such as wrongful termination.
Single Parents’ Legal Rights at the Workplace
Single moms are discriminated against on different fronts. Historically, being a woman places one lower than their male counterparts in the workforce hierarchy. An inflexible work schedule can make life difficult for a single mom.
Still, federal law does not forbid discrimination based on an employee’s marital status, which means that this cannot be used to sustain a federal claim.
However, a single mom has the following employment rights:
A potential single mom can exploit the protections provided to all pregnant women. This includes working until the child is nearly delivered and utilizing maternity leave for the crucial period after birth.
Pregnant women are protected by law against any form of discrimination. A single woman requires protection if she has pregnancy-related off days and to protect her source of income.
- Union Membership
The National Labor Relations Act guarantees the right to join, form, or assist in organizing a workplace union, which applies to all employees, including single moms. Unions negotiate for their members and sign collective agreements that oversee the employer’s relationship with employees.
Single moms can use unions to get flexible working arrangements and disallow discriminatory employer labor practices like retaliation, victimization, and termination of employment.
- Medical Leave
Employees have a right to take paid leave for medical and family reasons. Single moms can exploit these protections. The law states that when an employee works for at least 12 months, they can take unpaid, job-protected leave adding up to 12 work weeks per year to care for a severely sick child, care for a newborn, or a newly placed foster child.
A single mom whose child served in the military, resulting in serious injury, can take up to 26 weeks of paid leave to care for their child.
- Workplace Flexibility
Flexibility relates to finding the time, manner, and location where an employee can address serious employment situations. The Department of Labor created a workplace flexibility toolkit for use as a universal strategy to cater to the needs of both employees and employers. Single moms require time off to drop off and pick up their children from school, visit the doctor and attend teacher-parent conferences, among other activities that require their attention.
Although workplace flexibility is deliberate, employers are gradually embracing the notion of accommodating the needs of single moms and other employees with unique circumstances.