Can I take legal action against my employer for not scheduling me? Is this discrimination?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I take legal action against my employer for not scheduling me? Is this discrimination?

I have a job and when I started I was
part time. Just recently my boyfriend
and I have been given temporary custody
of his son through the state. The
child was in foster care and we were
able to pull him out in order to get
him out we had to under go background
checks, finger prints and a home study.
Anyone that will watch him has to have
the same done. Now my boyfriend his
father works out of town and is only
home for a week ever so often, so I am
the primary care giver, and since we
can’t afford child care I have had to
cut my hours back at work to only being
able to work during the kids school
hours which is 830-2tuesday-friday. At
first I was getting one day a week now I
can go a few weeks before they will put
me on the schedule. I feel that because
I’m a mom and have kids I am being
punished because I can’t afford child
care. Is there any legal action I can
take. Are there any laws against being
treated like this.

Asked on November 28, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

This would not be illegal discrimination based on what you write, and there is most likely nothing you can do:
1) Neither federal law nor your state's law protects employees on the basis of being parents or their family status or child care needs: it is legal (morally wrong, but still legal) to schedule less time for parents or otherwise "discriminate" against them in your state.
2) If you voluntarily limited your hours (to only 8:30 - 2:00, Tuesday to Friday), you resticted your own availability and the employer would typically not, even in a state (unlike your own) which did protect parents at work, have to go out of its way to find work for or otherwise schedule a person who has made herself so relatively unavailable.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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