Many types of workplace discrimination receive considerable attention from news outlets and other media; however, parental status bias is often either overlooked or goes unreported by those who are unsure of what it entails. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that laws protecting parents became law in May of 2000, although even today, many parents may remain unaware of their rights in the workplace.
Employed parents may want to watch for a few signs of discrimination based on their status, no matter the field or industry they work in.
1. Divorce discrimination
Some divorced, single parents may find themselves the target of parental discrimination if their employers have a moral objection to this status. Despite an employer’s morals, however, denying a parent a promotion or pay raise simply because of their beliefs is not legal. Parents who suspect this type of discrimination may want to document any incidents or communication so they can take steps to protect themselves under the law.
2. Foster parent discrimination
Foster parents may not realize parental discrimination rights protect them and the children they care for. The law extends to children under the age of 18 and those over 18 who cannot care for themselves due to a developmental disability. Employers who penalize such parents who need to take their foster children to medical appointments and attend foster care meetings are not permitted to do so under federal law.
3. Subtle negative speech
Employers who have a bias against parents in the workplace may try to undermine them with subtle comments disguised as jokes or banter. The intensity of the speech may escalate over time.
Parental discrimination also extends to pregnant and nursing women. Anyone who feels affected by the offensive actions may report them.