September 13, 2011 Practice Points

Judge Believes Individuals, Not Courts, Should Dictate Work-Life Balance

By Esther Hyun

U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska recently dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Bloomberg. Preska did not agree that the media company discriminated against pregnant employees or women who recently returned from maternity leave. She found the expert analysis showed no discrimination in pay or promotions. In addition, she noted that both men and women have complained about work-life balance at Bloomberg.

In her opinion, Preska elaborated on work-life balance. Preska quoted Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, who once said, “There’s no such thing as work-life balance. There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences.” Preska found that his view “reflects the free-market employment system we embrace in the United States, particularly for competitive, highly paid posts.” Preska also wrote in her opinion that an individual in any family, not the courts, should dictate the level of commitment and, therefore, account for the tradeoffs involved. Read Preska's full ruling.

Keywords: Bloomberg, work-life balance, discrimination

Esther Hyun, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California.

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