Category: Esther Lombardi
Who says extended parental leave is just for tech companies like Netflix or Microsoft? The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recently announced a new parental leave policy of 52 paid weeks for mothers or fathers during the first year after the birth or adoption of a child, plus unlimited time off for all employees.
Yahoo's CEO Marissa Mayer plans to take limited time away after giving birth to her twins. She's a high-powered businesswoman, and she's done this before. (This is her second pregnancy, and she took just two weeks off last time.) Is she a heroine, someone we should all look up to – or is she part of the problem?
It's impressive news. Two women – Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver – overcame seemingly overwhelming odds to pass the Army's Ranger School, at Fort Benning, Georgia. It's a daunting feat for any soldier, but for female soldiers, it's also a milestone: until this year, they weren't even allowed to attempt the leadership course.
Netflix and Microsoft have already paved the way, but now Adobe announced that it's joining the other top tech companies in offering more paid leave to parents. Their leave package is now at 26 weeks (10 weeks of medical leave and 16 weeks of parental leave) – that's double what they offered in the past, but it's not even really a surprise.
We've all heard the myth of the "career pause" – it's used as an excuse when bosses decide not to hire young women. To explain it in the simplest terms, it's the idea that a woman will plan to take time off from her career to raise a family, in some modern iteration of the cult of domesticity. After all, bosses (and journalists) claim, young women will just get pregnant, and go on leave. Then, they'll stay home, need a flex-schedule, choose a lesser job, or in other ways divert from what could be considered a standard career path.
The recent Supreme Court ruling that determined same-sex couples have the same marriage rights as opposite-sex couples has been met with both celebration and consternation. On the consternation side, the most immediate outcome has been in the form of the First Amendment Defense Act, a bill with the stated purpose of protecting employers from discrimination, if they act "in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage." This would obviously have big implications for same-sex couples, but it would also potentially affect other workers whose personal lives don't match their employers' beliefs, including unmarried women who have children.
Presidential candidate Jeb Bush said that to fix the economy, Americans need to work longer hours. Unsurprisingly, the statement was met with consternation, laughter, and disbelief by some. Hot on the heels, as it is, of the news that wages are stagnant and some out-of-work Americans have simply given up on finding a job, it should also make us all irate.
The unemployment rate has declined to 5.3 percent this month, but no one's planning a parade to celebrate. If you've been keeping up with news on the economy, that might sound crazy. After all, this is the lowest unemployment rate since April 2008, when the recession was first taking hold. Why aren't we cheering in the streets?
Recently, President Obama announced new rules for overtime pay, which will raise the floor to just over $50,000 and cover nearly 5 million American workers. While you may have heard about the rule change, you might not be aware how that could affect your technology usage, particularly checking emails after hours.
News on the college-admissions front often has some element of fascination and intrigue. After all, most of us could only dream of gaining a coveted slot at an Ivy League school like Harvard or Stanford. So, news that a young "Genius Girl" was able to snag what sounded like the most illustrious and custom-made program of all sounded absolutely fantastic. Too good to be true! Well, as it turns it, it was.
It feels a bit like deja vu. Didn't we just hear all that hubbub about Disney laying off workers? It was a sordid tale that involved 250 workers laid off from "the happiest place" on Earth, and then asked to train their replacements (who were an apparent part of an outsourcing directive via H-1B visas). Disney's debacle was only one of the most publicized incidents of such layoffs, and that bad PR may just have made a difference. After all, Disney just canceled similar plans to lay off more than 30 IT workers earlier this month.
Around 5,000 different fragrances permeate our personal care products. What smells clean and fresh to one person is a harbinger of an allergy attack for someone with fragrance sensitivity, which can result in sneezing, headaches, skin reactions, even difficulty breathing. Antihistamines can help, but the best treatment is reducing exposure. The question is, how far does your employer have to go to accommodate your condition?