We’ve all been hearing a lot about Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer lately – and not just because, at 37 years old, she is the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Instead, much of the buzz is related to the revelation that she is expecting her first child this fall and her intent to work throughout her few weeks of maternity leave. Some have lauded Mayer’s commitment to her new job. Others have decried her naiveté about the demands that a new baby will place on her. We wanted to take a moment to comment on the employment law aspects raised by this discussion.
Although a pregnant employee who promises to minimize her leave and continue working during her leave may sound like an employer’s dream, it’s important to realize that Mayer’s situation is far from typical. She is the CEO and, as a result, has both the financial means and schedule flexibility necessary to oversee the development of both her company and her baby. That is not the case for the vast majority of working mothers.