Sunday, September 30, 2018
Who does the work when someone takes paid paternity leave? Should childless coworkers pick up the slack by working for free?
Here’s an important column on page 8 of the New York Times Sunday Business, p. 8, “Left Behind, when a colleague goes on leave”, on the Workologist, by Rob Walker.
“There’s a lot of conversation about paternity and maternity leave, and the person who’s taking it. But there isn’t a lot of dialogue about those who cover for that person while he or she is out.”
That’s especially true with paid family leave.
Back in 1993, there was already the Family Medical Leave Act. At work, we had a “night programmers” who fixed the abends in the night cycle. She went on maternity leave. The on-call programmers simply handled the abends on their own time and expense. I spent a weekend there at my own expense. I was childless. I simply did the work someone else would be paid for.
But of course I was a willing participant in the deliberate lowballing. The NYT column never quite gets there.
Picture: that's a dog on the airplane.