Whose responsibility is work-life balance?

Did you all hear about the recent ruling against Bloomberg employees who’d claimed they were discriminated against for being mothers?

The judge – who happens to be female – rejected the claim, citing insufficient evidence.  You can see the details of the case (here too, for a different perspective) and form your own opinion on Judge Loretta Preska’s decision.

We can empathize with both sides, however, we don’t see a case for discrimination.

If Bloomberg is known for having a culture which demands employees put work first without special accommodations, well, they have a right to that culture.  If talented, hard-working employees are drawn to more family-accommodating work cultures, certainly companies exist that will accommodate these preferences in exchange for the talent these employees bring to their companies.  In the meantime, there are talented employees who don’t demand the same accommodations, whether because they have no children or other circumstances, and the culture at Bloomberg might suit them very well.

It’s a tough issue, and really, a philosophical one.  Women today feel the need to be in two places, and they deserve to find a solution that allows them to raise happy, healthy children while fulfilling career aspirations.  None of us can have it all, though.  We have to make choices.  And we can’t expect anyone to hand us anything just in the name of equality.  Equal work = equal pay.

If Bloomberg hired a less-qualified male candidate over a more-qualified female candidate, because they assumed the female would miss more work and cost more money simply because she is female, that would be discrimination.

Choosing to promote a person because he or she contributed more to the company than another – whatever the reason – is not discrimination – it’s self-preservation, on part of the company.

We can’t tie a company’s hands behind its back in the name of equality.  We’d be defeating the purpose.

About TRC Staffing Services, Inc.

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