Accommodating single parents at work

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As Jane has no siblings and her mother is divorced, the responsibility for her mother’s care has fallen exclusively to Jane.Helen was living alone until Jane discovered how ill Helen had become; now Jane has moved her mother into her own home.In January 2003, following the birth of her first child, Ms. Specifically, she requested she continue in full-time employment with a fixed daytime shift schedule that coincided with childcare available to her.She renewed this request in December 2005 after the birth of her second child.Thus it is not an option for Jane to hire a caregiver, in spite of her above average income.In the short-term Jane would like to reduce her hours of work and adapt her work schedule to make sure she does not have to leave her mother alone for more than 5 hours at a stretch.

Although marital status is generally irrelevant in the workplace, there are legal issues relating to single parents that business owners should keep in mind.For example, it's unlawful to ask an applicant if they have any children or plan to have any in the future.So asking a potential hire if he or she is a single parent is out of the question. For federal government jobs, discrimination based on status as a single parent is prohibited under Executive Order 13152.So on this National Single Parents Day -- an observance that began with a proclamation by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 -- here are three legal facts for employers when dealing with single parents at work. Avoid Potentially Discriminatory Job-Interview Questions. During the interview stage, it's illegal to ask the applicant questions that pertain to their marital status.This can include asking about maiden names or whether the candidate would like to be addressed as "Miss." or "Mrs." Not only are marital-based questions off-limits in interviews, but questions about family status are as well.

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