It's been recognized for some time that the average female worker in Texas earns less than a male counterpart performing the same duties, and significant attention has been focused on this issue in an effort to level the playing field. Although some progress has been made, a clear wage gap continues to exist. With this background, it may seem surprising to learn that a subset of women in the workplace are the subject of even more pronounced discrimination: moms.
A recent study found that mothers face bias on the job more than fathers and single individuals and actually earn less money for every child they have. It's not about being a parent; the researchers sent out dummy resumes that indicated the fictitious applicant's status and discovered that although mothers were half as likely to get a call back, fathers were contacted more often than single men.
In some cases, some measure of bias occurs once a woman's commitment to motherhood is manifest. There may be subtle signs, such as being excluded from certain meetings, not receiving choice assignments or hearing comments on how often time from work is taken for doctor appointments. More overt acts may be finding one reassigned after returning from maternity leave, no longer being in line for a previously promised promotion or not getting a regularly scheduled raise. However, every difference in how an individual is treated is not necessarily discrimination.
It's illegal to discriminate against a person in the workplace simply because he or she is a parent. Creating a hostile work environment is a form of discrimination and may violate an employee's right. An employment lawyer may be able to assess a case and determine if any legal action is appropriate.