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Did you read the reporting that the US Supreme Court Nominee, Neil Gorsuch, allegedly said that women manipulate companies to extract maternity benefits?

Yeah, those sneaky broads start an interview with the intention of pulling a fast one on business owners by having kids!

He also allegedly believes it’s okay for employers to ask women if they plan on having kids while making no mention of asking men if they plan on starting a family.

So, first things first. If by manipulate you mean maximize benefits, the answer is yes. Recruiters and HR professionals help in the process, too. Maternity leave is so paltry in America that it’s like manipulating a jellyfish into a baseball bat. No matter what you do, the programs lack a spine and have a microscopic impact for working women who are trying to balance the demands of a career and parenthood.

(Advice to new moms: find an HR Generalist who knows how your STD, LTD, PTO and FMLA policies all work together and buy her a nice lunch. Make her your ally.)

What’s worse are the paternity plans. Not that Gorsuch cares, but when they exist, they often suck. Men manipulate companies, too, by hoarding sick days and vacation days to spend at home in those early days when the baby doesn’t need anything except its mom.

(Advice to new dads from almost every HR professional out there: save your paternity leave manipulating to months 3-4 when the baby is fussy, and the demands of parenthood are wearing your partner down.)

Gorsuch thinks it’s okay to ask women about their intentions to start a family during the interview process, which shows you how little he knows about the world of work. If he had any smarts, he’d support questions that are more relevant such as, “Do you plan on saying racist things to your coworkers disguised as passive-aggressive jokes? Will you be late every day and blame everybody — including the GPS voice who navigates your route on Waze — instead of taking responsibility for your life? In your opinion, is it okay to park in the disabled space because you have cramps?”

(That’s the real world of work.)

HR professionals sit at the intersection of work, power, politics and money. All over America, they’re working with companies to find the best and most talented candidates. Your government has no idea how business works, including those so-called business-friendly-Republicans who think the best way to strengthen America is to let hegemonic corporate power run amok.

What’s best for America is to empower talented and educated workers to do their thing in a free market environment. And to Gorsuch’s surprise, I think he will find that the best employers out there want men and women to take the time they need when a baby is born with no manipulation required. Heavily-regulated maternity leave is over. Parental leave, and treating employees like adults, yields better results.

Welcome to the intersection, HR professionals. While there’s nothing more boring than SCOTUS hearings, it’s time to start paying attention.

5 Responses to Women Manipulate Maternity Leave with HR’s Help
  1. J

    Laurie – while I read your blog regularly, knowing that our political view points tend to differ considerably. I find it disheartening that you fall victim to knee-jerk reactions to what is starting to appear to be ‘fake news’. Since the story broke, several women have come forward to defend Gorsuch and at least one person in the same class as the accuser has come forward to refute.

    More disappointing is your insinuation that men cheat both their work and their spouse in their use of paternity time. It is also insulting to insinuate that men only take off time when they cannot help. My son was breastfed, so I couldn’t always help with that (although my wife pumped), but there was a ton of other things that I took off her plate…laundry, cleaning, diaper duty, etc.

    In your mind, I am sure that you think you’re fighting the good fight for feminism, but the more I read from you the more I think you’re just sexist.

    • Laurie Ruettimann

      Thanks for the note. Funny how fake news is subjective. Really appreciate your readership and willingness to engage. That means a lot to me.

  2. Tracy Whitmore

    Another excellent post!

  3. Lauren Dixon

    Well put! Thank you for a great post that encourages companies to do the right thing by providing maternity and paternity leave.

  4. Kelly O

    I know it was more helpful to me as a mom when my husband pitched in after a few weeks when I needed to catch a second wind, and our small company’s meager leave policies made that hard for us. (Never mind “flexible” work that was only “flexible” when it favored the company.)

    There are lots of moving parts to our government, and it’s important to pay attention to them. I “manipulated” what I had and managed to stay home six weeks, unpaid, with my daughter before finding a daycare that would take her that young.

    And if we’re being honest, I wish there were eldercare leaves available. My mother-in-law moved in with us last year, so we have a six year old and a 74 year old and I can’t honestly say I’ve ever been more exhausted in my life, even when I has that pesky newborn.

    Great companies treat their employees like adults and provide them tools to work from where they can, and the flexibility to handle needs that don’t always fit in a standard 8-5 working day.

    That’s definitely not fake.