“Her childcare options evaporated overnight.”
It happened to thousands of families when the state of California forced everyone to stay home as the coronavirus crept into town.
It happened to Drisana Rios. The mother of two was an account executive with insurance firm HUB International in San Diego. In March, she was sent home to work alongside a needy 1-year-old and 4-year-old.
“It was a little crazy and wild for all of us,” said Daphne Delvaux.
Delvaux is an employment attorney with the Gruenberg Law firm. She filed a lawsuit on behalf of Rios who was recently terminated by HUB International.
According to the lawsuit, Rios said she was admonished for her children being too loud during conference calls.
“As a mother, as a working mother, I was outraged,” said Delvaux who spoke to NBC 7 on behalf of her client.
Rios started working for the insurance firm in August 2019. The lawsuit said she was terminated at the beginning of June despite repeated attempts to explain the circumstances at home with her manager and HUB human resources.
“We just expected a little bit of compassion and understanding for the fact that we’re in a global pandemic and we’re all doing the best we can,” said Delvaux.
The lawsuit said the plaintiff’s manager repeatedly questioned the 35-year-old mother’s work ethic.
“The fact that we [mothers] show up at work means we left our children for this job. So, to question our loyalty, it’s outrageous and it’s a betrayal to all working mothers,” said Delvaux.
“This was not performance-based,” Delvaux said about the termination. “These comments were purely based on her manager not liking the fact that she has children…. What they should have done is call this guy into their office and say, ‘Knock it off.’”
NBC 7 reached out to HUB International for a comment regarding the lawsuit. A HUB spokesperson replied with a statement:
“While we can’t comment on pending litigation, HUB is proud to have successfully transitioned 90% of its 12,000+ employees to working remotely from home throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Delvaux said the lawsuit is looking for lost wages and damages but there’s no telling how long a resolution would take.