CEO Asks Manager To Tell Remote Employee To Stop Having Her Baby On Work Calls Because It’s ‘Distracting & Unprofessional’

"When we’re on larger team calls, her baby will oftentimes be on her lap and will cry, which will obviously distract her and the rest of the team."

Back view of businesswoman speak using Webcam conference on laptop with diverse colleagues fizkes / Shutterstock

A manager revealed that she was given a task by the company's CEO and is conflicted on how to handle it.

Posting to the subreddit "r/managers," she admitted that she's recently become a new manager and isn't sure how to approach a remote employee about having her baby on work calls.

The CEO told her to tell a remote employee to stop having her baby on work calls because it's 'distracting' and 'unprofessional.'

In her Reddit post, she explained that she's recently become a manager to a team of 6 employees, who all work from home. One of her team members recently came back to work after taking maternity leave, and while she's an excellent worker who is incredibly driven and smart, her baby has proven to be a distraction on work calls.


"When we’re on larger team calls, her baby will oftentimes be on her lap and will cry, which will obviously distract her and the rest of the team," she admitted. "Personally, I find no issue with her baby being home with her. My dog is at home with me and will sometimes bark or jump on me during meetings, which will be a distraction, too, so I understand that [expletive] happens sometimes."

Manager Instructed To Tell Remote Employee To Stop Having Her Baby On Work CallsPhoto: Kaspars Grinvalds / Canva Pro


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On top of that, the manager knows that the mom gets her work done on time, helps with different projects and endeavors, and will one day be an excellent manager.

However, the company's CEO has complained that she finds it unprofessional when the baby appears on work calls, which may hurt her chances of being promoted since she should be solely focused on working instead of taking care of her baby.

This is such an unrealistic expectation to have on a working mother, especially when you look at how many women face professional hurdles and challenges because they have a baby.


According to the Pew Research Center, 54% of working moms felt they could not “give 100%” at work because they were balancing work and parenting responsibilities. Working moms were also more likely to say they needed to reduce their work hours because of parenting responsibilities (34%) and to report being treated as if they weren’t committed to their work because they have children (19%).

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Questioning what she should do, she explained that she wanted to pull the remote employee aside and confide in her that they need to meet in the middle so she doesn't get flagged and reprimanded for having her child at home, but admitted that she isn't quite sure how to handle it. 

"While I’m a woman myself, I’m child-free and don’t really understand what new moms go through, so I want to be sensitive to that while also making sure that I’m doing my job as her manager and helping set her up for success."


With how many people work remotely, it's challenging for parents to find dedicated childcare during work hours.

In a poll conducted by NPR, 34% of families with young children are facing serious problems finding child care when adults need to work. The poll also found that in the last few months, 44% of households with children under age 18 have been facing financial problems. That figure jumps to 63% for Black families and 59% for Latino households.



Employers expect working mothers to divide their professional and personal lives, especially when working from home. Instead of telling this mother she should find arrangements during work calls for her baby, they can encourage her to mute herself since a crying baby might be distracting to colleagues and give her leeway to miss these work calls when she can't find childcare.

By approaching this situation with empathy and kindness, this company's CEO can recognize working parents' challenges and promote a more supportive and inclusive work environment that values their contributions while accommodating their caregiving responsibilities.


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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.