Does this feel unfair in some sense? Yeah. But would it be less unfair to artificially punish the person who didn't take time off? Questionable...
It's not even about punishment. Calling it discrimination is like saying that hiring based on years of experience discriminates against younger people. It's the wrong point at which to solve the problem.
We know that taking a year off impacts employment prospects. If we want to compensate for it, what should we do?
The implied solution is to force employers to hire less experienced workers. But that has all kinds of known problems. The quality of their work will be lower. It creates an incentive for businesses to cheat and benefits the ones that do. The cost is not uniformly distributed, which creates risk and surprise for smaller businesses that may not be able to absorb the sudden cost.
What problem are we trying to solve here? We want to encourage parenting and help parents, so do that. Have a social insurance program for parental leave equivalent to unemployment insurance. Have a generous tax deduction for dependent children that compensates for the resulting lower salary. Do things, in general, that spreads the risk across all taxpayers rather than creating asymmetric costs for the employers who happen to employ parents, so that we avoid giving employers a perverse incentive to find ways to offset the cost.
It's not a problem if you make $5000/year less in salary if you also pay $5000/year less in taxes. Or $10,000/year less in taxes.
There is some nuance. For example, a $5k tax credit might help me level the playing field today, but that $5k difference still exists for social security calculation.
Sure, so identify the problems and fix them. The way social security works is illogical. It's supposed to be a safety net, so why do we pay in proportion to past income rather than giving everyone the same amount? Do the affluent somehow need a larger safety net? If anything they should be expected to have more of their own savings.
Of course, there's also ramp-down and ramp-up time on each side of the leave. I'd expect a leave of 12 months is probably closer to a total productivity loss of 18 month, which will drag pay down further if there's a reduction to a second merit increase. If you take years off, as many do, staying home until the kid enters kindergarten, then you're probably looking at a massive relative gap when you start back.
But yeah, taking a year for parental leave is not a death knell for most professionals' careers. It will realistically result in a long-term salary depression relative to peers, though.
Most women also reasonably choose to prioritize family over career when their children are very young further inhibiting them from advancing their career during that time.
I can assure you looking after a baby the first year is not leisure time.
Of course in reality human nature being what it is, some people probably do actually care. And rarely are "all other things exactly equal". I'd guess most employers would be more favorable towards someone who took a year off to raise a baby, as opposed to taking a year off just to lounge around.
Gender aside, this is still discrimination based on a persons “experience”, as you call it, or very simply: their employment status.
This is against the law. Plain and simple. Look at some of the laws enacted over the years, starting in 2011 .
I'm not a lawyer, but that doesn't sound right to me.
Consider four people who graduated at the same age, then took different paths:
* Experienced Eric worked for the same company for 11 years, is still there, and is considering a new job.
* Younger Yenina worked for the same company for 10 years, is still there, and is considering a new job.
* Late Larry searched for a job for 1 year, worked for the same company for 10 years, is still there, and is considering a new job.
* Unemployed Ursula worked for the same company for 10 years, got laid off, and has been looking for 1 year.
The law you quoted appears to say it's illegal to discriminate against Unemployed Ursula for being currently unemployed, so she should have the same shot as Younger Yenina and Late Larry. It doesn't say her year of unemployment must be considered equal to Experience Eric's extra year of work.
(There are also age discrimination laws that say you can't prefer Younger Yenina simply for being younger, gender discrimination laws that say you can't prefer Late Larry simply for being male, etc.)
The argument made prior to this is not that an unemployed person is equal to a continuously employed worker but merely that unemployment should not and cannot affect your qualifications for position X. The law is pretty general as it states an employed person is anyone who does not have a job, is able to work, and is seeking work.
If Eric, Yenina, Ursula, and Larry are all able bodies, placing Ursula in her own category based solely on a gap year is in itself discriminatory.
The parent comments are taking the gap year into account—something that can be elaborated on, but should never be a deciding factor. The general consensus ITT is that Eric automatically is a better fit for position X than Ursula based solely on their employment history.
That argument in itself shows biases toward length of employment and current status, with the latter being something that should be irrelevant in a hiring process.
Edit: to show an example, most job postings on P&G have this disclosure:
>Qualified individuals will not be disadvantaged based on being unemployed.
That one line is what everybody is arguing againat, that unemployment automatically declines your qualifications.
Isn't it? Maybe that's not what you meant to say, but even now as I re-read your earlier comment I think that's what you said. Based on the downvotes and jimjansen's reply, I'm not alone. jimjansen's reply in fact seems to have taken you to mean that you simply cannot consider someone's experience at all, which is a totally unreasonable position and consistent with your wording. I tried to be more generous in my interpretation but simply can't interpret your earlier comment in way that's consistent with the (correct) idea that one can legally hire Experienced Eric rather than Unemployed Ursula because of his additional experience.
(By the way, unfortunately I think these discrimination laws are basically toothless because in real life there are many factors that legally can be considered, they're all subjective, and employers are under no obligation to explain their reasoning. So you can almost never prove discrimination unless they are dumb enough to tell you about it.)
The commenter clearly stated their point. Businesses don't care why you have a one year gap. They only care that you have a one year gap.
In no way did they call having a baby a vacation.
Looking at the bigger picture we should be doing everything we can to encourage family growth within our own ranks. I'd argue that most people on HN etc would make excellent, above average parents if only because they are so engaged.
Sorry to go further off topic.
We’ll see in Japan in the next two decades. Europe is next.
I don't think it'd be difficult to let people enjoy the benefits the company has agreed to provide without punishing them, indeed, this strikes me as the only reasonable way for the company to behave. Ideally, as time goes on, all employees with avail themselves of the full suite of benefits making this discrimination againts those who use their benefits will become moot.