Texas Employers May Make Few Exceptions for Dad Duties

Fort Bend County dads may not get the short end of the stick when it comes to paychecks but can suffer discrimination for taking active roles in their children’s lives. Salaries for men are often higher than women. The trade off in some workplaces can be rigid schedules that allow men no time for parenting duties.

Some workers have noticed that employers are less generous with flex time or other work options with fathers than mothers. Employees who have experienced separation and divorce often need added time for parenting. Observers say companies tolerate time off for parents who are female but have little patience with males with the same needs.

A strong support system helps most working parents cope with children’s sick days, band concerts, sporting events and other must-parent events. Divorced mothers and fathers — especially parents with primary custody — must be self-reliant in situations where support runs thin.

Dads who speak up about time off frequently receive negative responses from employers. Some fathers say the discriminatory policies at work set a double standard that business cultures don’t seem willing to change.

Fathers who want to participate more often in their children’s activities are hit with a “work first – family later” answer. Employers can view fathers’ family obligations as job-threatening distractions while seeing mothers’ duties as unpleasant necessities.

Co-parenting plans designed as part of a divorce settlement can help ex-spouses manage child care responsibilities. Communication between parents after divorce may not be comfortable, but it doesn’t end with the marriage. Former spouses can anticipate inevitable events and emergencies related to their children and work out details in advance to cover them.

Source: huffingtonpost.com, “Workplace Discrimination: The Hidden Discrimination Divorced Dads Face At Work,” Robert Anthony, Jan. 18, 2013

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