Dell’s On-Site Requirement Has a Disparate Impact on Women

Company policy decisions that impact a protected class of people.

Anna Burgess Yang
4 min readMar 21, 2024
A red fox sits on a rock to the left of a white stork. Between them is a bowl filled with milk.
Image created via Midjourney

A fox invites a stork to eat with him at a table. He provides a bowl of soup. The stork can’t eat the soup with its narrow beak, but the fox can eat it easily.

The stork then invites the fox to dine with her. She provides soup in a vessel with a narrow neck. The fox can’t eat, but the stork enjoys her meal.

This fable from Aesop has long been construed as a “do unto others” story. But it was also cited in a 1971 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a case involving employment discrimination. An employment practice that looks in theory but has an unequal outcome is illegal. The stork and the fox were both served dinner, but one will go hungry unless they’re served dinner in a way that’s appropriate for each.

And companies demanding that employees return to the office are teetering dangerously close to breaking the law. Most recently and overtly, Dell has announced that remote employees are ineligible for promotion.

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Anna Burgess Yang

Freelance Writer. Practical Tips for Solopreneurs. Career pivots are fun. 🎉