Post # 1
DH is a contractor overseas. He’s been here for 5 years and so has Jon. Jon has 2 kids (12 & 18) in the states that see him every summer although him and his current wife have no kids. He doesn’t talk about them much so not a lot of people are aware he has kids. There are a total of 20 employees (with his company) here. 6 of them just moved here within the last 6 months.
With the government shutdowns, everyone here was (obviously) very upset. DH and Jon received word the day it happened that they were to report to work as they are considered essential. They were also put on 24 hour standby in case they were needed. A couple of the employees were on vacation or in training when it happened so they were using their leave anyways.
DH’s supervisor, Bob, was talking to him yesterday about how this thing isn’t over yet. Bob told DH that he’s been in contact with the boss (in the U.S.) about changing who is considered “essential” so that the other employees can work if this happens again. DH mentioned that a lot of people were in training or out of the country so it worked out that him and Jon were here. Bob said that won’t be the case the next time.
Then Bob told him it “wasn’t fair that DH and Jon got to work considering they don’t have kids.” And that he mentioned to the boss that THEY have families to take care of…and DH and Jon don’t. And that he’s now trying to get DH and Jon considered “non-essential.”
Bob is aware that DH and I have been undergoing fertility treatments for the last year. I felt like it was a “low blow” to say that to him. DH said he was so pissed that he got up and walked away…I probably wouldn’t have been able to bite my tongue on that comment.
He talked to Jon about it and Jon admitted that the reason they got to work is because of 1) they have seniority, 2) they are the least paid employees, and 3) they do things that the others couldn’t do w/o them.
I’m just so upset that Bob would actually say that AND go to the boss about it. Everyone over here was freaking out last week about this but to try to change things b/c someone “doesn’t have a family” is pretty petty IMO.
I guess this is more of a rant…not sure what DH can do about it. I told him to let Bob actually use this (having kids) as his reasoning b/c I’m pretty sure it’s some sort of discrimination.
I should add that not ALL of the employees have kids…but they are the ones that just moved here. They are still learning the ropes so DH had to do their jobs during the shutdown.
Post # 3
Well Bob shouldn’t be surprised at all. It’s part of the risks of taking a government contracting job. Shoot, my uncle once had a contracting job overseas, he was there one day and the contract was canceled. He had to pay his way home and was without a job. Bob isn’t anymore special because he has kids, I have kids and I think that’s a BS mentality. Your not elevated to “special peoples” status because you have kids. Ugh.
Post # 4
I’m sorry…I hate it when parents do this. It was your decision to have children. Do not use them as weapons to cut others down (socially, financially, etc.)
For the record I love children. I have lots of friends who have kids that I love and help support. Need a last minute babysitter? Sure. Need to sell Sally’s cookies? Absolutely! Can’t make a meeting every now and then because of your child? I’m happy to fill in.
However, I have a big problem with coworkers who think they deserve a raise because they have children or bills. You earn money for your work, not your ability to reproduce or buy things.
Post # 5
Umm it should not matter if you have 0 kids or 10. If your job is essential its essential and if it isn’t then it isn’t. What an ass. That is a ridiculous reason for someone to have their status changed and I would surely complain if the change went through. I really don’t think it would be legal to do that. I do also feel like it was a low blow since the guy knows about your fertility treatments, but even if you planned to never have kids that is a completely inappropriate thing to say and not a reason to be considered ‘non-essential.’
Being laid off is a big risk with contracting jobs whether you have kids or not. That is a big reason I went federal instead of the contracting route, however that doesn’t seem to be doing much good in terms of avoiding layoffs these days either (although I’m personally not furloughed). I do hope your husband will aggressively fight that change if it were to occur.
Post # 6
@texasbee: that sucks and definitely isn’t right, however it isn’t discrimination as people without kids aren’t a protected group under the law. Hopefully there won’t be a next time And hopefully everyone gets back pay.
Post # 7
@MrsWBS: Yeah, the more I think about it, it isn’t discrimination. Unfortunately though some of the contractors are getting back pay, DH’s company is NOT giving it to them.
UPDATE: DH came home at lunch b/c Bob and a couple of other guys started to argue w/him about the kids’ issue. Bob told him he is just trying to make it “fair” which I can fully understand…nobody should be singled out in this.
However, I told DH to ask Bob just HOW he intends to make it fair. They are going to rotate people but I mentioned what if this happens again and everyone is on rotation but it ends and some people still don’t get to work…how can he “guarantee” it will be fair?
I was worried when DH was 1 of the 2 selected to work and what his coworkers would think. But then again, a few of them were on home leave to the States or in training. It’s not like they could have worked anyways. I guess Bob was grasping at straws to justify it and mentioned other people have bills…and their wives are SAHMs. I DO work PT (ummm b/c I don’t want to sit at home all day) but not enough to supplement our bills in any way.
DH asked me what he should say to him. They are in very close quarters and it’s all the guys w/kids are talking about. I told him to let Bob dig himself a hole. I can’t believe that management would even consider his “kids” argument but we’ll see.