Tara Tan, Standard Hotel Manager, Denied Maternity Leave, Gives Birth At Work, Lawsuit Claims
By her own account, Tara Tan was a hard worker, pulling 80 to 100 hours a week as a manager at the upscale Standard hotel in New York City's trendy Meatpacking District.
But when it came time for Tan to take time off to have her second child, she was denied maternity leave and forced to give birth to her baby -- with no doctor present -- in one of the hotel's guest rooms, the 42-year-old woman alleges in a $10 million lawsuit (via New York's Daily News).
After going into labor at the end of one of her shifts and delivering her baby, Tan says that she was taken out through a side door -- rather than through the lobby -- because hotel management didn't wish to disrupt the venue's regular Friday club scene and partying.
"I am upset that they treated me this way after all that I did for them," Tan told the Daily News this week. "I helped them build this hotel and make it a success. I sacrificed so much time with my family."
According to the lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Tan was nine months pregnant when she went into labor at The Standard on April 30, 2011, and was left to her own devices for nearly two hours until her husband arrived to help deliver the baby.
"I said, 'Lay me down. She's coming,' " Tan told the New York Post. Her husband, Sean Kehoe, was on the phone with her doctor, and delivered the baby himself.
Hotel management didn't respond to a request for comment about Tan's allegations or the lawsuit.
The incident was just one of many abuses that Tan alleges she endured during her four-year tenure at the hotel, which ended earlier this year. Tan's attorney, William Keith Watanabe, charges that The Standard discriminated against his client, who is from Malaysia and of Chinese descent, because she wasn't young, white, thin, childless or male.
One of Tan's superiors allegedly told her that she didn't fit in with the "culture of the hotel" -- a well-heeled, youthful clique.
Tan returned to work as a manager at The Standard three days after giving birth but was docked the hours she missed and eventually found her duties dwindle before she was finally terminated by the hotel earlier this year, according to the Post, allegedly for stealing boxes from her office.
Unlike many Western nations, the U.S. has no paid maternity leave law, though both men and women are entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted child, under the Federal Medical Leave Act.
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David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. Follow David on Twitter. Email David at firstname.lastname@example.org. Add David to your Google+ circles.more...