Opinion: One working dad’s view on divorced dads in the workplace

Single dads who have custody of their children don’t get the same breaks at work as single moms. That’s the conclusion of a single father who has published an account of the subtle discrimination he encounters in the workplace, where single moms enjoy lenient treatment and flexible schedules, but single dads are expected to let someone else do the parenting.

For years, fathers’ rights advocates have supported men who fought the uphill battle to get custody of their children in a divorce.

However, men’s struggles don’t end with the divorce decree. Employers, long accustomed to accommodating family-based requests to avoid a backlash from working moms, don’t seem to understand, says the media contributor, that they should extend the same accommodations to working dads. Men who want to leave work early to attend a PTA meeting, take their daughter to the orthodontist or watch their son play baseball are met with resistance. “Can’t Mom do it?” is an often-asked question from supervisors who don’t seem to realize they are setting a double standard for parenting.

Everybody knows that it “takes a village” for a working mom to raise her children. It’s not unusual to see a school-age boy or girl in an office building somewhere in the United States, including in Georgia, with mom once or twice a year on the odd days when schools are closed and the mother can’t find child care. A single dad, on the other hand, is far more often expected to have a mom, an ex-wife or a girlfriend who can watch his kids in an emergency.

It’s time, says the writer, that employers recognized that single dads need just as much encouragement, flexibility and support from them as single moms.

Source: Huffington Post, “Workplace discrimination: The hidden discrimination divorced dads face at work,” Robert Anthony, Jan. 18, 2013

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