When it comes to the world of work, there are a lot of hot-button topics in the media, such as unpaid maternity leave, the gender pay gap, and work flexibility. These issues are often covered by leading news outlets such as Fortune, Forbes, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Mashable, USA Today, Good Morning America, and so many others. But there’s another online publication that gets the message across in its own unique way—The Onion.

Never one to shy away from telling it like it is, The Onion’s satirical take on global, national, and local news has skewered the workplace recently. Here are five of their top humorous takes on work flexibility, the gender pay gap, unpaid maternity leave, and more (remember: these are satire!):

Report: Many Companies Now Offering Women Permanent, Unpaid Maternity Leave
Some U.S. companies are now offering their female workers the right to a permanent, unpaid maternity leave. “Women should know that when they decide to have children, we will be proactive about offering them an unlimited number of days at home to care for their kids while earning zero percent of their pay. That is our promise,” said “source” David Koerper of EasyPay Payroll Processors in the article. The Onion was quick to add that employees who were considering having families had the option of not applying for a job at all.

Newly Unemployed Woman Enjoys Equal Pay for First Time in Career”
Women have been fighting for decades to shatter the glass ceiling in the workplace as they still attempt to close the gender pay gap. And now, they have—but it’s not the ceiling they’ve shattered, but rather the floor. In this article, Paula Saunders, a laid-off consultant, gleefully claims to be earning the same amount of money now as her former male coworker—which is to say, nothing. Not surprisingly, Saunders was let go two months after announcing that she was pregnant.

Working From Home Vs. Working In an Office”
This Onion story has a side-by-side comparison of what it’s like to work from home, including comparing 8 AM-5 PM office hours with the sporadic schedule of 9AM-9:45 AM; 10:20-11:30; 12:45-12:55 (only ten minutes there!); 1:30-2:00, and so on. Working in an office means that you might get to dress business casual, while working from home means you can wrap the biggest blanket around yourself.

Report: More Companies Offering Paid Maternity Leave to Mothers Who Complete 3 Months of Work Ahead of Time”
Spotlighting the U.S.’s unpaid (and unfair) maternity leave plan, the Onion highlights a new report on companies offering up to 12 weeks of paid maternity leave—provided the pregnant workers complete three months of work ahead of time. “We want to make sure our female employees don’t have to choose between motherhood and their careers, and provided they finish three extra months of reports, send three extra months of emails, and make three extra months of presentations before they have their babies, this policy lets women take the time they need without setting themselves back at the workplace,” said “source” Adam Ewert. In a wink and nod to flexible work, the Onion concludes that the report found that a growing number of businesses now offer flex—but at a fraction of their previous pay.

HR Director Reminds Employees That Any Crying Done at Office Must Be Work-Related”
You know that this is going to be a good one! In an effort to ensure that work (and only work) gets done at the office, “Paragon Media” has issued a no-crying policy at the office. Sniffling and bawling must be done outside of office hours, unless it relates to job-oriented issues, such as employee benefits, heavy workloads, or not being appreciated by colleagues. “Of course, there are some exceptions to these guidelines. For example, if you happen to be crying because work has prevented you from seeing your family this week, that’s a gray area, and you might want to clear it with a supervisor before breaking down completely,” says Paragon Media human resources director Patty Clemence in a company-wide email.

Hopefully, these stories can give you a good chuckle despite touching on the very real topics of work flexibility, unpaid maternity leave, the gender pay gap, and the lack of work-life balance in traditional office jobs. Have a good laugh, and then help us spread the word about how flexibility allows us all to work the way we want to—that is to say, from home wrapped in a big blanket.

photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com