count absences and leaves against seniority


Senior Member

Here's a quote from an article on California's labor law:

a company policy of counting all absences and leaves against seniority that has a disproportionate adverse impact on women who have to take time off for pregnancy.

I don't understand what this count against phrase means in this sentence. My guess is that all absences and leaves are those senior employees' privilege. But anyway it sounds strange. Can anyone help me with this?

Thanks in advance!
  • easychen

    Senior Member
    In figuring out how long you've worked there, the company only counts days that you came to the office.
    Is it something like: if you have worked for one year, you can take a 3-day off, and if you have worked for two years, you can take a 5-day off, and so on ?


    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Seniority—length of time with a company—usually implies certain privileges: those who have worked for the company longer typically have longer vacations, will be the last to be laid off if layoffs are deemed necessary, and so on. This quote (which seems to be the end of a longer sentence) says that "absences and leaves" won't count as time on the job, and a leave is different from a simple absence. To be on leave means to be away from the job for a period of time with the approval of the employer: because of illness, for an annual vacation, or for some other reason. Many employers grant women maternity leave (whether paid or unpaid), assuring them that they may take a certain number of weeks away, immediately before and after the baby's birth, and will not lose their jobs. Your quote points out that not counting leave time when calculating seniority results in a disadvantage for female workers who have taken maternity leave.

    Actually, a few companies give new fathers leaves as well, and presumably men who take "paternity leave" suffer a similar disadvantage.
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