Reddit must be Bro Heaven

But even the dudebros can occasionally see the light. This thread about a guy who wants to host a stripper party for his business is an amazing example of obviousness. His new business did better than expected, so he asks if there are any legal problems if he brings in some strippers, right into the place where they work, to have a celebratory party.

Right away, people start ringing the alarm bells of “hostile work environment”, but he has an answer to that. No problem! He doesn’t hire women!

Female candidates are usually less qualified for technology and don’t come from strong cs backgrounds as often as their male counterparts. That combined with California’s ridiculous maternity leave laws make female applicants quite undesirable.

As of now we have 16 people, excluding myself.

Officially: I hire the best candidate for the job.

Unofficially: unfortunately California is one of the only states that requires paid maternity leave for female employees, making female employees quite a risk for smaller businesses.

Wow. Good thing he’s using a pseudonym, because that comment could otherwise come back to bite him on the ass. He’s outright admitting that he discriminates against women, because they are women.

At least the commenters there are slamming him hard, which is interesting, given the kinds of things Reddit users usually downvote.


  1. penalfire says

    It is often overlooked that improving conditions for women also improves
    conditions for men. “Paid maternity leave” quickly becomes “paid family
    leave.” In Germany they refer to this as Elternzeit, making no distinction.
    Men and women have the same right to take care of their children.

    California’s ridiculous maternity leave laws

    And I’m sure the benefits conferred are miserable by international

  2. numerobis says

    Leave paid by the business is indeed a huge risk for a small business. Just having a valued employee leave is hard, and to pay them while they’re gone could sink you — *and* leave the employee without benefits! That’s why social benefits tied to a company is one of those ridiculous fucking ideas that the US really loves because freedumb.

    In Quebec, the government runs the insurance plan for maternity and paternity leave (and many other things). It comes out of payroll taxes. Men and women pay the same. Men and women have access to nearly* the same amount of time off, and the culture is that both actually do take time off (though still the mother tends to take more off, and is less likely to return to work).

    So a small business has relatively little incentive to worry more about hiring a woman than a man.

    *: Maternity here is 12 weeks, goes to the person who gave birth; paternity is 5 weeks, goes to the partner of the mother. Then there’s 52 weeks shared between the partners, unpaid, regardless whether either partner gave birth (e.g. adoption). There’s still a few gendered pronouns in the law, because written French requires you gender everything, but the nouns are pretty clear that what matters is whether a baby came out of you, or whether you mean to be raising the kid — not your sex and marital state.

  3. whywhywhy says

    Looking for a silver lining: this is a backward argument for paternity leave.

    Also, as a prospective employee, it would be a huge red flag if all the employees are of one gender regardless of whether it is my gender or not. Not only is this fool not hiring the best candidate, he is driving away folks that would qualify as his best candidate even within his corrupt definition of best candidate.

  4. says

    The federal and state laws for family leave don’t even apply to companies with fewer than 50 employees and even then only kick in after about ~6 months on the job. And CFRA is up to 12 weeks for either parent of a child those bros of his could pretty easily take time off from the job if their SO has a kid. What’s worse is that it’s employee funded, not company funded (though the company must maintain benefits for the duration). Sounds like the guy is just an asshole.

  5. Artor says

    What an asshole! I’m a guy, and I would feel awkward and uncomfortable having strippers show up at my work. I’m even friends with some strippers, and they’re great people, but I wouldn’t come do construction on their club while they are working. I wouldn’t expect them to come dance while I’m working, even if I joke about it sometimes.

  6. bojac6 says

    Also, the way it works in California, both parents qualify for family leave, not just the mother. This also includes same sex couples and adoptions. In other words, if any of his employees have a kid, they get the same benefits.

  7. qwints says

    @Gilliell, there is some evidence that mandating parental leave exacerbates the gender pay gap. That’s most likely due to cultural factors causing more women than men to devote time to raising children, so the better solution is to encourage fathers to do more childcare and household work rather than reducing parental leave.

    The legal advice subreddit is a horrible place to go for legal advice, but it’s generally composed of decent people.

  8. numerobis says

    Giliell: it may work fine AND be a risk for a small business, the two are not contradictory.

    One is from the point of view of society: it works fine.

    The other is from the point of the small business: if Giliell goes on maternity leave I’m screwed because where the hell am I going to be able to find someone else who can write as well as she does and pay that new person *plus* pay Giliell her maternity leave, when I can barely even make payroll as things stand? Even not having to pay the leave, having to replace an employee can be a big hit.

  9. unclefrogy says

    if this guy’s “business” is that precarious as to be under threat of going under because of one employee being unable to work for medical reasons because lets just admit it maternity is a medical reason and has been judged so and not really that different from any other medical reason for being unable to work. So add vacation to sick leave and the company goes bust? I take it he does not want to pay those expenses either maybe there is some clever insurance plan that would assist him I think they can do that.
    If so he is a crappy boss and might have a hard time keeping employees unless he pays high wages which I doubt.
    Unless his business is supplying male escorts or moving things with brute muscle power alone (which in the 2016 is stupid) he is pointlessly limiting his pool of qualified workers for no other reason than he is afraid of working with women. His competition might not be so ignorant.
    uncle frogy

  10. Bruce Gorton says


    If a business can’t afford to have its staff go on leave, then it shouldn’t be operating in the first place.

    You should have a slight excess of staff, to allow for people to take paid leave (Whether it is sick leave, maternity leave, family leave, study leave or just a paid vacation) without impacting business operations. Emergencies happen, and you have to have the flexibility to cope with them.

    Further with regards to maternity leave – it is not like it happens on short notice. In South Africa for example it starts one month before the baby is born, and goes on for four.

    So you have months of warning before somebody takes the leave. If you cannot prepare for it as a business, then it isn’t your staff being too demanding that is sinking you, it is your own incompetence.

  11. says


    Giliell: it may work fine AND be a risk for a small business, the two are not contradictory.

    You’ve bought into that Libertarian crap hook, line and sinker. Really, look at Europe where people get mandatory paid sick leave, mandatory paid holiday time, mandatory paid maternity leave* and business still does pretty well.
    *And no, that particular form of paid leave cannot be “parental leave” because it’s a fucking medical leave. It goes to the person who is pregnant/ has just given birth. It’s an actual “pro life” policy because it means pregnant people don’t have to risk premature labour from having to work 48 hours a week when 9 months along.

    We can talk about how costs should be socialised because hell, raising a new generation is an issue for all of society. But I don’t buy the “boooo-hoooo, I have to pay women for their personal lifestyle decision of having babies”

    I’m not in favour of “stay at home money” either. There was recently a discussion in Germany about a so called “kitchen bonus”: Money paid to parents (whom are we kidding, mothers) who didn’t put their under three year olds in a daycare but stayed at home. I think it was the first time feminists protested against money paid to women, because it reinforced harmful gender stereotypes and put women at an even higher risk of old age poverty.

  12. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says


    I watched a documentary a couple of months ago about Croatian immigrants (sorry, expats) to Ireland. As one of the differences between ehre and there, they mentioned that kindergraten is deliberately very very costly so as to encourage parents (I know, it’s mothers) to stay home with their child until they start school. ON the other hand, parents receive a lot of other benefits for the kid, so the policies are really pro-life (in the real, not anti-abortion sense) they are just also sexist.

  13. says

    It’s an issue here as well. Even though it’s highly subsidised, daycare for under 3 yo is expensive. If you’re on benefits the cost is paid, but there’s one demographic who loses out: Women in traditional low paid women’s jobs with husbands in traditional better paid men’s jobs. The typical hairdresser married to a car mechanic: Their combined income would put them above the threshold, but effectively she would earn some 600/700€ while paying 350€ for the daycare plus food. It’s not a calculation that pays off: Would you work 40 hours a week for 300€ a month? (German cost of living and all)

  14. Jarred says

    “At least the commenters there are slamming him hard, which is interesting, given the kinds of things Reddit users usually downvote.”

    One thing people seem to forget about reddit is that it’s divided into a lot of small, independent communities with their own subcultures. Pretty much all of the criticism of reddit culture comes from a handful of subreddits (like /r/gaming), but people are usually a lot more… reasonable in smaller topical subreddits.

    Granted, the douche-filled subreddits tend to be the largest one, but once you condition on this being in /r/legaladvice and not /r/politics, you need to adjust your expectations.