Posted tagged ‘Working Moms’

Pink Slip (Baby) Blues

March 30, 2009

While the economy is slamming everyone without discrimination, there is one category of laid-off employee who may feel the pain more than others – the mother-to-be. While some women may view losing their jobs at this stage as a “blessing in disguise” – the unexpected opportunity to spend more time with their new baby – the last thing others want is to find themselves unemployed just as they are about to face major additional expenses in the form of hospital bills and a new mouth to feed – especially if their former company doesn’t allow them to carry over health insurance. If they’re single moms or if their spouses or significant others have also lost their positions, the scenario is even more dire.

 

Yesterday’s New York Times noted that there are no laws against dismissing a pregnant woman or a woman on maternity leave – as long as she is not being let go because she is pregnant or a new mom. Yet some laid-off women maintain that while “the economy” was cited as the reason for their departure, their pregnancy may have contributed.

 

For more, see “When the Stork Carries a Pink Slip.

 

Employers, have you had to let a pregnant staff member go? What issues did you face?

 

Moms – have any of you lost your job while pregnant? Did you feel there was any discrimination involved? Has your pregnancy made it more difficult to find another position?

Bringing Up Baby (at Work)

January 26, 2009

 

A recent New York Times article talked about a Manhattan mom who became pregnant while she was launching her own company, decided she would bring her baby to the office with her daily, and set up an on-premises playroom – exactly what I did 20 years ago when pregnant with my son, Evan. Reaction varied then as I’m sure it does now. To this day I remember one client – male – who came for a meeting and looked aghast upon learning that baby and babysitter alike were part of it (it was a small office). There were the many other clients who never knew their conference calls were being conducted while my little one was nursing. Evan came to work with me every day until he began to walk – and I realized he’d be better off running around the playground with other kids than shuttling from one desk to the next.

 

The Times article noted how more companies are allowing employees to bring their babies to work, and discussed the pros and cons. It pointed out that a child’s needs – and noise – could be highly distracting to his/her parent and other employees alike, and suggested that with baby underfoot it was impossible for parents to be completely devoted to either the child or the job. Experts suggest that companies that do allow parents to regularly bring children to the office establish specific written policies – e.g., the age or stage (crawling, walking) at which children are permitted in the space, and designated areas for changing diapers.

 

What do you think about a bring-your-baby-to-work policy – especially if you’re in the business of making baby/children’s products? What guidelines would be fair to both employer and employees – the parent and her co-workers alike?

 

Good News, Bad News

January 16, 2009

 

In this economy, the good news for working moms is that more women are holding onto jobs than men are. The bad news: The fields that women dominate generally offer more stability – but less pay. Seventy-five percent of workers in health care and education are women, according to economic consulting firm IHS Global Insight. Employers added more than half a million jobs to those two fields combined in 2008. Men, meanwhile, represent 93% of workers in construction and 72% in manufacturing – industries in which 1.4 million jobs were lost during the same period. Since the recession began in December 2007, the jobless rate for men jumped from 4.4% to 7.2%, while the rate for women rose from 4.3% to 5.9%. Women are also more likely to work part time than men (25% vs. 12%), which could make women less vulnerable to cuts. The reason: Because part-timers do not receive benefits, they are likely to cost employers less.