Are you a parent who feels you are being discriminated against in the workplace? You are not alone. Many parents face subtle discrimination in the form of reduced opportunities, fewer promotions, and lower pay.
What does parental discrimination look like, and what can you do if facing it?
What is parental discrimination?
Employers that discriminate against parents often do so in subtle ways. For example, they may refuse to offer flexible work arrangements that would allow parents to juggle their job responsibilities with their childcare duties. For example, an employer may refuse to hire a qualified candidate because they have young children. They may also neglect to promote parents or give them raises and bonuses commensurate with their experience and qualifications.
It can be challenging to prove, as it often relies on unconscious bias or assumptions about parents’ abilities to balance work and family life. It’s important to document instances of discrimination, keeping a detailed record of what happened, when it happened, and who was involved. This can be difficult, as bias can take many forms. Keep a record of any conversations or events that made you feel uncomfortable or that you believed unfair. Documentation can be helpful if you decide to file a complaint or take legal action.
Once you have gathered evidence, you can decide whether to speak to your employer about the situation. Depending on their reaction, you might need to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or pursue a discrimination lawsuit.
By understanding your rights and speaking up when you feel you have been mistreated, you can help to create a level playing field in the workplace for other parents that follow you.