‘Lean In’ to lawsuits: firms should avoid Sandberg’s baby advice, say lawyers

15 Jul

Gigaom

Sheryl Sandberg, a powerful Facebook(s fb) executive, wrote Lean In to encourage America’s women to seek and take  leadership positions in the workplace. The book, released in March, remains a national best-seller and has sparked a national conversation about women and work.

One of Sandberg’s key suggestions is for firms to be more open about discussing careers and maternity issues. She describes her own practice of asking employees about pregnancy directly. She wrote:

“But after watching so many talented women pass on opportunities for unspoken reasons, I started addressing this issue directly. I always give people the option of not answering, but so far every woman I have asked has appeared grateful for a chance to discuss the subject.”

Despite Sandberg’s advice, however, it’s unlikely that many executives will be discussing pregnancy at work any time soon. A survey of employment lawyers by Law360 (sub req’d) revealed that all of them…

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