I’m that woman, the one who was let go from a prominent Houston law firm while on bed rest. I went into pre-term labor with my second child at just 22 weeks of pregnancy. At that point, my son was not viable outside the womb. I was let go from my unpaid leave three months later. I am very happy to report that my son was born healthy and is still growing strong today. However, it is with much regret that I report that my termination is not surprising, nor am I alone.
I am one of many women in the legal profession that experience discrimination due to pregnancy or motherhood. I was in a very vulnerable position: stress-induced labor and unpaid leave. We are a two-income family and we relied heavily upon my income. The stress of termination proved too much for me and I went into unstoppable labor shortly thereafter. Yet I, like many others in similar situations, did not do anything to defend myself.
I was and am young in my legal career and opted not to commit legal career suicide by suing a law firm. Not to mention, under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, such charges would need to be filed with the EEOC within three months of termination. With a newborn, a toddler at home, and having already endured months of turmoil I opted not to put my family through the additional stress of a legal battle. Instead, I moved on to a much better firm with partners who value me and respect my opinion, as a woman and especially as a Mother.