Have a general question about employment law? Want to share a story? I welcome all comments and questions. I can't give legal advice here about specific situations but will be glad to discuss general issues and try to point you in the right direction. If you need legal advice, contact an employment lawyer in your state. Remember, anything you post here will be seen publicly, and I will comment publicly on it. It will not be confidential. Govern yourself accordingly. If you want to communicate with me confidentially as Donna Ballman, Florida lawyer rather than as Donna Ballman, blogger, my firm's website is here.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Think Sexism Doesn’t Exist? Read This

I did a post on AOL Jobs about family responsibilities discrimination, and wow, was I shocked at the comments. When people get to comment on the Internet anonymously, their mental filter gets set in the “off” position sometimes. I know some judges and my colleagues on the management side think these kinds of attitudes don’t exist anymore. But employers tend to be on their best behavior in front of their lawyers and in court. They’re shocked that they could be accused of such a heinous act.
Well, here’s what some of those corporate clients and management-side discrimination defendants really think. Even after 25 years of practicing employment law, I didn’t expect employers and managers to post comments like these. I left off the user names to protect the guilty, but you can go to the post and see them for yourself.
How would you like to have this guy as your boss?:
Maybe you should have thought of that before you spread your legs and became a walking sperm bank. If you can't afford to take the time to deliver a baby, maybe you can't afford to have a child at all. A business is an entity designed to produce a product or service in order to produce a profit. It is not a social service agency, a rehab agency, or a day care. The business was not created in order to create jobs. The jobs come as a result of the success that the company has enjoyed as a result of producing it's product or services. You do not have a right to co opt my business interests in order to facilitate your desire to procreate or your failure to control your desires. Just keep pushing this feel good stuff onto business and watch your jobs flee to China and India.
Or this one?:
Pregnancy is a very temporary medical condition. But soooo many women take full advantage of it in the workplace and elsewhere, demanding to be treated in special ways and to be given a lot of slack when it comes to work production, dependability, reliability, attendance, and/or tardiness. This puts a lot of extra work on the shoulders of non-pregnant workers and the managers. "Is Susie Broodmare going to show up for work today? Or will she say she has to leave four hours early for a doctor's appointment for the third time this week? Will she say she feels uncomfortable so can't do her job at all today but expects full pay?" It's well past time for pregnant women to be held accountable for their decision to get pregnant so that it doesn't adversely affect others, especially in the workplace.
Susie Broodmare. How lovely. I wonder if that’s what he calls them in the exit interview.
This guy better have a very small company or he’s a defense lawyer’s nightmare:
As an employer, I think the running of my business comes before your personal problems and if I think I can hire someone better than you, more dedicated than you, with no medical or family problems, you're fired. Take responsibility for yourself and don't expect your employer to subsidize your lifestyle choices. Want to take off 12 weeks to have a baby? Than you better be absolutely brilliant at your job if you expect it to be there when you come back. Otherwise, someone else will be sitting in that chair. I don't owe you anything but the pay check you worked for and whatever else we agreed on when you were hired. Nothing more.
How about this one?:
This is pretty incredible. So I can apply for a job with a great big baby-belly and say, "I saw your help wanted sign, so I'm applying for your 15th position. Here's the deal. I'll let you train me and pay me, then as soon as I'm "line-ready" I'm taking off for as long as I see fit to have my kid leaving you short an employee AGAIN" and any business I walk into HAS to hire me or risk government BS? It's no wonder the corporate world is getting the Hell out of America!
This one is a real charmer, and smart too: “I dont think YOU have right in working in somebodyelse Company, than you become pregnant. Its your businnes and your partner businnes.. once you step out.. you need to use what you save. No mercy. Let's be real..... You want family (boths) have pay the price...”
This one posted lots of comments. Here are some of my faves: “Noone else but the employee is responsible for making sure that they are ready and able to work. If you want to work for a company with very lax absentee policies, then go find one. Society suffers when we have to assume the responsibility for those who do not prepare and plan for pregnancies/illness etc.”
If they can't afford it, they shouldn't get pregnant. What ever happened to PLANNING a family? If one had to sacrifice and reduce a lifestyle, then that is what has to happen. Society cannot bear the responsibility for individuals. A womans husband can provide the income while she goes through pregnancy. Now we most certainly have couples who PLAN pregnancies knowing that they will get time off and other considerations, thus burdening our economy.
This one doesn’t like you if you’re pregnant or disabled: “If you have a family AWESOME!! But ON THE JOB! If at any time I feel your physical condition or health will impeede your ability to work efficently and professionaly then I will either let you go or simply not hire you.”
AND “If you are pregnant Sorry NOT hiring you. Not because I am thinking "oh god I will hire them only to loose them" But because again in MY business it is a safety issue. I can not afford the insurance claim if a dog jumps on you and hurts you or your unborn baby.” (He’s identified himself enough that some lawyer is probably issuing a subpoena for his IP address as we speak).
Bravo, management. Bravo. I hope your employees figure out you posted these comments and sue the stuffing out of you.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I appreciate your comments and general questions but this isn't the place to ask confidential legal questions. If you need an employee-side employment lawyer, try http://exchange.nela.org/findalawyer to locate one in your state.