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).

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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.

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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

Staff Writer

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. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.

Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.

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She didn't fit in but was hired, why was she still working at nine month and, like others here, why didn't she/her husband call 911? We're not seeing the whole story...

November 20 2012 at 4:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to syl118's comment

You should watch the video news report and all of your questions shall be answered.

November 23 2012 at 7:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

somewhere along the line, we aren't hearing the entire story. I can not believe no one at the hotel would have called 911 if they knew she went into labor.. something fishy. neither she nor her husband called for 911 for 2 hours..Dock her pay, yes, she wasn't working, something is missing, much is missing. If she was caught stealing, now that would be a reason for her to be fired and now she is going to try and sue the hotel..

November 18 2012 at 10:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm not familiar with the maternity leave law, but I don't think that it is paid leave. This article is supposed to pull at our heart strings, however, the article does not mention the health of the childe, so I imagine the child is just fine. I guess she and her husband do not know how to use the telephole to dial 911 or, perhaps, they don't speak english. Anyway, if they are all healthy, I see no reason for a lawsuit -- other than some gready attorney.

November 18 2012 at 9:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just curious, I wonder if Tan has a "green card"? If not, we should fine the hotel another 10 million for hiring her.

November 18 2012 at 8:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


November 18 2012 at 8:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It says after she went into labor she "was left to her own devices for nearly two hours until her husband arrived to help deliver the baby". Why didn't she call 9-1-1? It also says she was "forced to give birth to her baby -- with no doctor present -- in one of the hotel's guest rooms". They did not give her maternity leave but they did not FORCE her to report to work when she knew her due date was approaching. She has free will and made the choice to keep working for this company. "Come to work or lose your job". Fine, the safety of my child is more important than any job.

November 18 2012 at 8:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ask management if they are subjected to the same standards they impose! If you think "sh_t rolls downhill",...so does "attitude"!!

November 18 2012 at 7:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

what a crook. she gave birth weeks early . this is the key . i would charge her for the use of the room . just think of how much she saved in hospital bills .

November 18 2012 at 7:41 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Perhaps Octomom shold have had paid maternity leave times eight.

November 18 2012 at 7:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If they are married then why the different name?most of the brought over here girls want the name to shoe they are married and now american. and all she had to do is leave work and go to the hospital! so what you lose a couple hours is that more important then your childs life or yours? Don't blameit on the job when you chose to do it! Sorry but most labor does last more then a few minutes.

November 18 2012 at 5:58 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gary's comment

Lots of Married couples have diffferent last nights.. Some women dont want to give up there birth name.

November 18 2012 at 8:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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