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Is Maternity Leave a Form of Employee Discrimination...?


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Old 8th May 2013, 2:00 AM   #1
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Is Maternity Leave a Form of Employee Discrimination...?

I was just reading a random article about Yahoo's CEO boosting the amount of maternity leave granted new mothers. Are the benefits afforded new mothers a form of discrimination against employees who don't bear children while employed? Is it a form of discrimination against male employees who can't bear children? Should these employees be entitled to the same paid leave and benefits?

And why would people cry discrimination if an employer chooses not to hire a woman of child-bearing age so that he wouldn't have to deal with paying for an employee that contributes nothing while she's on maternity leave? It just seems ironic that someone would cry discrimination because an employer did not want to give them preferential treatment (i.e., discriminate against those who don't bear chlidren).
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Old 8th May 2013, 2:05 AM   #2
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Are people allowed to not hire employees with other types of medical risk (race, age, weight, family history, etc), so that they won't have to deal with paying for an employee that contributes nothing while he/she is on leave for other medical issues?

No?

Why should pregnancy be any different?
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Old 8th May 2013, 2:12 AM   #3
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Are people allowed to not hire employees with other types of medical risk (race, age, weight, family history, etc), so that they won't have to deal with paying for an employee that contributes nothing while he/she is on leave for other medical issues?

No?

Why should pregnancy be any different?
The protected classes in the US are race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, and disability.
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Old 8th May 2013, 2:13 AM   #4
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In Canada, we have Parental leave. The couple decide whether to split the leave or have one person take all the leave.
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Old 8th May 2013, 2:14 AM   #5
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I

And why would people cry discrimination if an employer chooses not to hire a woman of child-bearing age
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The protected classes in the US are race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, and disability.
You have your age and sex right there...
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Old 8th May 2013, 2:15 AM   #6
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If it's discrimination it's justified, acceptable and traditional. In this day an age where people are screwed out of pensions, take cuts in pay, have to pay way more on health insurance premiums and so forth, the continuation of paid maternity leave is a precious thing. I worked in a firm for almost 20 years and saw many women go on maternity leave and get showered with gifts. I admit a little envy because no one fussed over me like that but I never took it as discrimination. I hope no one tries to challenge this because there are already too many heartless businesses who would be gleeful about taking away this time-honored privilege.
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Old 8th May 2013, 2:15 AM   #7
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In Canada, we have Parental leave. The couple decide whether to split the leave or have one person take all the leave.
Right. In the US, we have paternity leave too. But what about those individuals (men and women) who elect not to have a child while employed?
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Old 8th May 2013, 2:17 AM   #8
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Right. In the US, we have paternity leave too. But what about those individuals (men and women) who elect not to have a child while employed?
Since the children of this generation will be supporting social security of old farts, including those who've elected to remain childless, exactly what's your point?
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Old 8th May 2013, 2:20 AM   #9
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You have your age and sex right there...
Actually, I should have added the caveat, the age protected class only applies to those 40 years and older.

"The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits employment discrimination nationwide based on age with respect to employees 40 years of age or older. The ADEA also addresses the difficulty older workers face in obtaining new employment after being displaced from their jobs, arbitrary age limits."

It's purpose is to prohibit older individuals from being discriminated against in favor of younger employees.

And gender does not apply here because paternity leave is also often granted to the father. And there are women who don't bear children while employed, yet they are not afforded these benefits. So gender is not the basis of discrimination.
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Old 8th May 2013, 2:24 AM   #10
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So unless employees can prove irreversible vasectomies, hysterectomies or medical conditions causing sterility or they're past their fertility years, how would an employer be guaranteed that they're hiring child-free individuals?
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Old 8th May 2013, 2:25 AM   #11
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Since the children of this generation will be supporting social security of old farts, including those who've elected to remain childless, exactly what's your point?
Maternity leave is a form of preferential treatment of a very particular group of individuals. Yet when this preferential treatment is taken away or does not exist at a company, you have outcry that said company is discriminating against new mothers for not providing preferential treatment that essentially discriminates against everyone else.

I find it odd.
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Old 8th May 2013, 2:27 AM   #12
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Since the children of this generation will be supporting social security of old farts, including those who've elected to remain childless, exactly what's your point?
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Maternity leave is a form of preferential treatment of a very particular group of individuals. Yet when this preferential treatment is taken away or does not exist at a company, you have outcry that said company is discriminating against new mothers for not providing preferential treatment that essentially discriminates against everyone else.

I find it odd.
Refer to above post. Does this mean that childless individuals should automatically be disqualified from receiving any social security?
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Old 8th May 2013, 2:30 AM   #13
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So unless employees can prove irreversible vasectomies, hysterectomies or medical conditions causing sterility or they're past their fertility years, how would an employer be guaranteed that they're hiring child-free individuals?
They don't. They simply don't offer paid leave and other benefits. At least in the US, the only legal requirement for qualified individuals is that employers grant the employee leave and have the position open for her return. There is no requirement for paid leave or retained benefits, and the employer is free to hire someone else to fill the gap while she is away.
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Old 8th May 2013, 2:33 AM   #14
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Refer to above post. Does this mean that childless individuals should automatically be disqualified from receiving any social security?
How does Social Security work in Canada...?

In the US, the system does not take into account at all the number of children you have... "Theoretically," () you pay into it while you are employed. So those who do not meet the employment requirements in their lifetime (i.e., they did not work enough and therefore not contribute enough) are disqualified from receiving social security benefits. Children have nothing to do with it.
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Old 8th May 2013, 2:34 AM   #15
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In the US, the system does not take into account at all the number of children you have... "Theoretically," () you pay into it while you are employed. So those who do not meet the employment requirements are disqualified from receiving social security benefits. Children have nothing to do with it.
This makes no sense at all. Any idea how social security works in the U.S.?
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