If as a parent there are certain hours that I am not available to work such as after 5 pm, is there a law to protect parents with children?

I work graveyard and my employer has stated that unless I have open availability they are not able to work with my schedule (such as moving me to days 2 days a week) and they will not offer me set schedule although others do have set schedules because of transportation or seniority. The reality of it is that I can not guarantee open availability due to child care needs and having a child in general. I feel like I am being discriminated against but don’t know what to do or how to address it..

Asked on August 2, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, unfortunately there is no law protecting parents with children in this regard, and no law requiring employers to accomodate child care in setting shifts or hours. It is not illegal discrimination to require parents to work hours that they simply cannot, owing to child care needs. You can, and many would, argue that this is unfair and a sign of mistaken priorities in our nation--but it's still the law at present that employers do not need to take your family obligations into account.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, unfortunately there is no law protecting parents with children in this regard, and no law requiring employers to accomodate child care in setting shifts or hours. It is not illegal discrimination to require parents to work hours that they simply cannot, owing to child care needs. You can, and many would, argue that this is unfair and a sign of mistaken priorities in our nation--but it's still the law at present that employers do not need to take your family obligations into account.


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