Here's a good rule: if you need legal advice, don't get it from anonymized strangers on the internet.
Not everyone is rigorous in following that rule, though, so the legal advice subreddit continues to exist, along with its lengthy list of guidelines and caveats. (#1: "Please only use responses as guidelines to better prepare yourself for when you meet with a lawyer.") The latest dubious advice seeker is a man who claims to be the founder of a tech company in San Jose, California who wants to throw an office party with strippers. He wants to know if he'd be "in violation of any laws before I go ahead with this." His main concern isn't sexual harassment but "zoning stuff."
We are not lawyers, but we can definitely tell him he's in violation of good taste. Other Reddit users agreed; the man, who used the Reddit handle "fjfilin" was not met with kind words. Plenty of commenters quickly pointed out that for a number of reasons, legal or otherwise, this was a very bad idea. A couple raised some good questions: How many people work for the company? Are any of them women?
In response, the alleged founder implied that he hadn't hired any women into his 16-person company, calling them a "risk for smaller businesses," because he'd have to offer them maternity leave:
He then added that female candidates "are usually less qualified for technology and don't come from strong computer science backgrounds as often as their male counterparts." In short, he sounds like a real winner of a boss.
The anonymous post, which could not be verified and has been locked by Reddit so that no one else can comment, functions as a blatant reminder of the hiring discrimination women face. A 2014 survey by law firm Slater & Gordon found that 40% of managers would hire a young man over a young woman due to fear of paying maternity leave and the idea that "women are not as good at their jobs when they come back from maternity leave."
This exacerbates an extant problem in the tech industry where women are already underrepresented, and where gender-based discrimination is still rampant. Last year, while Twitter was in the middle of a gender discrimination lawsuit, it hosted a frat-themed party.
Regardless, parental leave is gender neutral in the state of California, so fjfilin won't have much luck with his money-saving plan. Maybe the extra cash can help pay for whichever lawyer represents the company in a lawsuit.
Ethan Chiel is a reporter for Fusion, writing mostly about the internet and technology. You can (and should) email him at firstname.lastname@example.org