Any workplace that won't let you take calls about your children, whether you are a single parent or not, should be avoided. I work to live. I don't live to work.


It comes down to priorities for me tbh. Your children and your job are both important priorities, but which one is more important when they come into conflict with each other? Same with anything else in life. It's one thing to say "I'm just not gonna show up to work for a week with no notice" and another to say that there's a more important priority of life, family, health, etc. where work needs to take a backseat for a moment. Businesses and bosses that can't accept being the lesser priority that they are during such matters need more of a reality check to get off their pedestal than they need a misguided worker that always puts them first.


It shouldn’t even be a question of which one is more important…


It's not, but we'll have challenges to priorities all the time. Not understanding the downvotes, but you be you reddit


”It’s not, but it is.”


It do be that way 😶


It shouldn't be an either or! In Canada, they wouldn't come into conflict, because there is a job protected leave available for caregivers... same with supporting a terminally Ill loved one. People shouldn't have to choose, and bad bosses are fueling the anti work, or quietly quitting movement by forcing their employees to choose- or just firing them for taking a call regarding their child.


Of course it is wrong. Employees are humans who have lives that are sometimes messy and inconvenient. Employers have to have some flexibility with that. It's stressful enough to have family issues without having your employer adding more pressure.


I got a new job a couple months before my wife was due to give birth and I informed them of her due date and explicitly told them that when she goes into labor I would be staying at the hospital with her until she's discharged (it was my first kid). They said since I was telling them at the interview and still a couple of months away it wouldn't be a problem. Ironically my manager would be a woman pregnant with twins who thought it was sweet. Got the job and gave her regular weekly updates (she also wanted to know how it was going) and consistently told that I would be allowed to take a few days for the delivery. fast-forward to a week before the due date I come into work to find my manager flipping out on everyone and everything because apparently her baby daddy left her and wants nothing to do with her or their still unborn kids. I keep my head down and do my job. Finally I was walking out the door for work one day when my wife's water broke all over the living room floor. I called my manager multiple times as I'm getting our stuff into the car and she never picked up so I ended up calling the assistant manager (who was incidentally a friend of mine and how I found the job) who tells me no problem I'll cover for you and let [manager] know. Went to the hospital, wife had said baby, and sleep deprived we get home like 48 hours later (quicker than we thought thanks to crap insurance lol). After they're settled down I check voicemails to get one from my manager telling me I'm fired for being a no-call no-show. I went to the store super confused as I thought this had been all handled way beforehand, for her to tell me "I knew where you were but there's nothing for a man to do in the delivery room so you could have been here working. Men don't don't help with kids." Seriously? Wtf. Still don't regret it though Tldr: being a dad doesn't matter in the workplace from day 1


Sounds like a great case for a lawyer to claim discrimination


RBG tried similar discrimination type cases in her early cases.


Unfortunately companies don't need a reason to let you go where I am and being a new dad recently fired meant we didn't exactly have the money for a lawyer (which is probably what companies like this are counting on) or even the knowledge of how to go about something like that.


> Unfortunately companies don't need a reason to let you go But they *did* give you a reason. Which you had recorded. And had provable evidence (you calling the assistant manager and them confirming you were calling out) that they lied about the reason. They don't have to give a reason, but if they do give a reason, and that reason is a lie, that is called wrongful termination.


>quicker than we thought thanks to crap insurance lol Not necessarily because of insurance. Hospitals want people out as soon as possible because the longer one is in the hospital the more likely they are to develop an infection. I'm sorry that you (like me) live in a country that doesn't value it's people. Good support would include at home follow up visits as well as paid time off for both parents.


The nurse straight up told us this and that they usually keep first time parents a couple of days extra to ensure breastfeeding takes and to help/teach new parents.


I think we now know why the baby daddy left her and wants nothing to do with her.


Sounds like a lawsuit!


It seems incredibly wrong. Gonna guess you’re also a US dad. We live in a dystopian nightmare.


Wrong? Yes. Illegal? Doubtful


If he can show damaged had he nit taken the calls he can sue


That's not at all how it works in 49 out of 50 states. Employment is at will, meaning either party can terminate employment at any time for any reason whatsoever that isn't explicitly codified as illegal. There are no laws protecting your ability to talk on the phone at work.


Do American parents not have a legal obligation to make sure their children are safe and healthy?


Oh we totally DO. So taking calls from school like "come get Johnny, he puked in gym again." Is required. Not taking those exigency calls can result in CPS involvement if it's a regular occurrence. But employers can get away with almost anything if your state has At Will employment.


I feel like there’s a big lawsuit waiting to happen here, but I don’t have enough knowledge to say anything really. I just… if an employer openly fires you for taking a phone call regarding your child when you’re legally obligated to take that phone call, how is that different from firing you for being pregnant or disabled?


It will take much more than a simple lawsuit to change our ways. Federal protections and laws for this is a start. Also doing away with at will employment.


I just can’t believe how incredibly behind America is on worker’s rights. I’m Sweden it’s so hard to fire someone that there’s talks of employers’ rights sometimes!


They'll fire you for talking about it here, but use some bullshit excuse like excessive absences etc so they won't get in trouble


The employer can usually fairly safely bet on a few things: parenthood isn't a protected class, and even when/where it is, technically the claim is firing him for "taking personal calls" or "wearing a blue shirt on a Tuesday" etc, nor "because he's a parent". Unlikely to be able to get much help from a state or federal fair-employment agency like EEOC. Taking up a lawsuit probably means having to have the income to be able to hire a private lawyer, and even then an uphill fight as business owners likely have more cash to throw at more experienced/connected lawyers. A significant % of workers can't afford a lawyer to do a lawsuit. Don't have the cash for court & filing fees... Even if the employee is in a protected class. They may not be able to find anyone to handle their case without immediate *proof*. (Like a letter, notation, or email from the boss/employer giving an explicitly illegal reason for the firing.)


My thinking was that if you’re legally required to look after your child and your employer openly fires you for looking after your child that should be grounds for a lawsuit. Since there’s no legal precedent for that yet some employer somewhere must be dumb enough to put it in writing. Lawsuits can lead to those cases where something ends up basically becoming a law, right? I don’t remember what they’re called.


Sometimes, though the big hurdle here is "at will employment" and solid proof. If the documentation says "fired for taking too much time on personal calls" or some random silly reason. He may just be out of luck. Even if it's "teacher called about sick kid", or "every day at 4 pm there's a 2 min call from kid saying "got off bus and I'm home safe." It may not be the documented reason.


There's federal law stating employers can't punish employees for taking care of their children.


How many calls? How often? How does it affect your work? Occasional call that takes two minutes and you can get right back to work? Shouldn’t be an issue Multiple calls a day that makes the whole manufacturing line shut down? Might be an issue


Where's the rest of the story?


That's what I'm thinking. A parent, regardless of support system of another spouse or family, taking a call about their child? No, probably won't be terminated. But a parent habitually being on the phone 60 times a day for the last 3 months laughing about sports? "Oh yeah Bob, my teams gonna kill it in fantasy football this year. Just got first pick! Wait hold on a second, no boss it's my son. Yes he's sick at school. Trying to find him a ride. Yaknow." Somewhere in that gray area there is a story about op, if the story isn't just made up, and that's the story we need to know to determine if this was actually a problem or not.


I would like any kind of source. Not just to confirm story but to avoid said company and give them the free advertising they seem to want.


It’s seems wrong if there was some type of emergency concerning his child, but if he was receiving calls continuously (non emergency type) which start interfering with his ability to complete his work then it may be a valid reason for termination. Without knowing the full story~


OP how many phone calls did you have and were the calls emergencies?


Definitely. Most jobs I have worked specifically would rather that than taking calls on your cellphone.


Had to tell my boss once - don't make me choose between work and my kids, you will lose every time.


That's about right. Some places have a no tolerance for cell phones.


That’s exactly why my daycare also has my work number in case they can’t reach me. Though my work is lenient on phones and understanding that I have to leave if they are sending one of my kids home


Except for the manager who fucks around all day.


Need more info. Mainly, what is the policy around taking phone calls at work, how many calls are we talking about and how long. All are relevant.


You get enough emergency calls about your son that cut into your work time enough that they had to fire you?


Definitely situational. Emergencies are one thing, but it seems unlikely there were so many emergency calls that it would have been a firing offense, unless the phone use was habitual and then this legitimate one about the child was the last straw.


It does seem wrong... So does saying "sole possession".


It seems like capitalism to me.


With absolutely no context it “seems” wrong, sure.


Yes. This is not a good place to work for. When one door closes, a better one usually opens


men don't help with kids. wow. tell that to the mom who has 2 kids, a job, and is having a c-section. i other words, mom needs dad to care for newborn baby and 2 other kids while mom recovers. dad needs 2 months off of work.


Very wrong. There is a serious lack of humanity and/or empathy in any employer who penalizes a parent like this.


There are probably better resources, but this should give US workers who are also parents a start point https://www.peps.org/ParentResources/by-topic/expecting-parents/workplace-legal-rights


He deserves a better work place


That sounds like we are not getting the whole story. I used to be a supervisor and gave someone a day off because they wouldn't get off the phone before. Like.. I get it, it's important, you have to answer it, you have to be on phone for half an hour at a time, third time this morning. Just take the day off and take care of things. That's what I'd done at least. You know, you are here to work, if you're unable to do that, then go do what you need to do... Being fired for it, though?


He is an air traffic controller? A guard for a nuclear facility? Few jobs require 100% focus and almost all can allow for short personal phone calls.


Please find the ACLU


That's the job right, they can fire you for that regardless if single parent. Morally wrong? Yes. Legal? Also yes