mdecerbo writes: A new lawsuit by cryptographer Don Davis against multinational defense giant Bae Systems highlights the fact that companies are free to have their boasts about "work-life balance" amount to nothing but idle talk. The Boston Globe reports that on his first day on the job, Davis explained that his wife had late-stage cancer. He would work his full work day in the office, but if he was needed nights or weekends, he'd want to work from home. His supervisor was fine with it, but the human resources department fired him on the spot after four hours of employment. The lawsuit raises interesting questions, such as whether employment law requires corporations to have the sort of common decency we expect from individuals. But what I want to know is, if BAE Systems loses this lawsuit, will they prevent future ones by making their "work-life balance" policy say simply: We own you, body and soul? Don Davis' lawyer, Rebecca Pontikes, contends he was discriminated against because the company "requires its male employees to be the stereotypical male breadwinner and to leave family responsibilities to women." BAE issued a statement to The Boston Globe saying, "we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind and work hard to provide our employees with flexible working options that enable them to have a meaningful work/life balance." The company declined to discuss specifics, citing pending litigation.
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