Firm Tells Lawyer Mom She’s ‘Setting a Bad Example’ By Leaving Early for Her Kids

Many companies are understanding and supportive of working moms—just take a look at our 100 Best Companies. However, many have yet to get on board. Case in point, a top London law firm that’s currently the subject of a heated LinkedIn post.

According to user Katy Fridman, this law firm told a working-mom employee that she’s “setting a bad example to the juniors in her team” by leaving slightly early to pick up her children.

Katy is the founder of Frankly Flexible, a business that helps companies recruit workers for flexible roles. She said the lawyer mom, who is in her closed Facebook group, asked her to post for her anonymously on LinkedIn so she could get advice on finding “a new flexible role” after this incident occurred.

Katy said she’s angry the mom feels she has to look for a new job because her firm isn’t supporting her or making her want to say.

“Wouldn’t it set a better example to the junior lawyers for the firm to be seen to be actively supporting their working parents?” she wrote.

Katy also revealed a shocking detail about the lawyer mom’s situation that makes the company’s response all-the-more infuriating: the firm itself “promotes flexible working.”

After sharing, Katy then let LinkedIn do its thing and since being posted over the weekend, the post already has almost 300 reactions.

In the comments section, many sympathized with the mom, like this one, who also gave the mom’s manager a reality check:

“The lady’s manager has an odd perception of what performance is about if he believes leaving early impacts negatively on it and on the performance of juniors. Performance isn’t about hours worked, it’s about what’s achieved in the hours worked. And the message she is communicating is actually a positive one for the organization, showing others with a family that there is some flexibility in senior roles. If she leaves the message will get through to juniors that the organization doesn’t really support flexibility.”

Others recommended the lawyer mom talk to HR.

“If it’s a top class firm, there should be a top class response and maybe her manager will be advised to think of leaving.”

Another said she should meet with HR and her manager to discuss where flexible working is mentioned in her contract and in the firm’s handbook.

“In this way, she gets to keep her job and the manager is ‘educated’ on how the firm operates.” However, if there are other reasons she doesn’t like the job, “she should leave and find the right work/life balance elsewhere.”

Many also offered to privately get into contact with the mom to offer their help and expertise.

“Hi Katy, I work with candidates at a high level often having the same problem. It’s a real shame because employers will lose good people with the attitude toward flexible working this firm clearly has! It’s a real oversight. I’d be very happy to speak with your friend/group connection and see if my colleagues and I can help.”

And awesomely, one user even invited the mom to reach out if she decided to leave her firm after all.

“Hello, that is such a shame. Please feel free to pass on my details and I would be happy to assist should she decide to explore options for new opportunities. Thank you.”

Hey, one company’s loss is another company’s gain. Even though the mom’s law firm didn’t recognize her value, there are fortunately others that see her worth and have no problem with offering her the flexibility she needs!