October 5, 2005

Zuckerman: Famous, Prick, Fires US News Staffers On Maternity Leave

God Bless America, land of the free-will employment. The country where media moguls can escape the profit-sapping oppression of governmentally mandated employment protection regimes in their home country, and where they can be totally at liberty to fire employees who slack off by taking so-called "maternity leave." I get choked up just thinking about it.

On the other hand, if you're the kind of communist who chooses your news sources by the way their billionaire owner treats its employees and their families, you'll stop reading Mort Zuckerman's US News & World Report, which let nine editorial employees go in its Washington office this week, including two who are on maternity leave. Classy.

One commenter on the journalism site poynter.org writes:

Is it legal to fire women on maternity leave, as U.S. News and World Report did a few days ago? To be sure, it's morally repugnant. How can the magazine cast stones at story subjects when it behaves in this way? Moreover, how can lawmakers talk about family values and not pass laws to forbid this kind of buffonery? In Mort Zuckerman's native Canada, women are accorded leave from their jobs with employment insurance benefits for up to a year. It is illegal to fire them during this time.

Sorry to moralize, but I'm disgusted.

Hey, they wanna get pregnant, they should go work for Canada News & World Report.

U.S. News & World Report Lays Off 9 Workers
[nyt via dt reader Ponch]

2 Comments

Same here in Sweden. It's illegal to fire anyone on parental leave. Regardless if it's a male or female. don't even try it. If your company goes under then it's of course another story. You are also guaranteed your previous job, or at least a similar job, when you come back to work. This is rarely a problem over here. But it's also up to each and individual person to help out your employer as much as you can. Perhaps try to take parental leave when it suits and occasionally helping out. It's not required but it's of interest for both parties that the parental leave works out with a few problems as possible.

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Sadly, I think it is legal, only because the maternity leave doesn't "appear" to be the reason. If they were the only ones laid off, I believe it would be illegal under the FMLA.

[yeah, I actually don't doubt that it's legal either. Just ghetto. -ed.]

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