Woman Says She Was Fired After Kids Made Noise During Calls

Drisana Rios is suing for gender discrimination
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2020 7:25 PM CDT
Updated Jul 9, 2020 3:00 AM CDT
Woman Says She Was Fired After Kids Made Noise During Calls
Rios says she started working from home in March after California issued a stay-at-home order.   (Getty Images/shirosonov)

A California woman says she was fired for doing what millions of other Americans have been doing during the pandemic—looking after her children while working from home. Drisana Rios is suing insurance firm Hub International for gender discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination. The 35-year-old account executive, who has a 1-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter, says she "worked harder than I ever have in my entire career" after she transitioned to remote work in March, but had trouble with a male supervisor who allegedly made sexist statements and complained that her children made noise during conference calls, though none of her clients had said it was an issue, KGTV reports. Rios says she managed to meet all her deadlines by working late when necessary.

Rios says she tried to arrange calls during the afternoon, when her children napped, but her boss ignored her and would "purposefully overlap schedules." She says the supervisor told her to deal with her "time management issues" and said he was "tired of accommodating her." Rios says she was fired June 2—a week after she complained to HR about the way she was being treated. The company told her she was being let go because of the pandemic's effect on revenue. Joan C. Williams at the University of California's Hastings College of Law says the pandemic is likely to lead to numerous similar lawsuits. "We expect an explosion of cases involving family responsibilities, discrimination and specifically discrimination against mothers," she tells the New York Times.. (More remote working stories.)

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