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.
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| 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
“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.