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Woman shares story of being fired right after her baby's death.

Woman shares story of being fired right after her baby's death.


'My baby unexpectedly died when I was 9 months pregnant.'

I returned to work 2 weeks after her death, part time by agreement with my bosses (I had two bosses, the co-owners of the small business). I planned to go back to full time in November. We had a meeting where we discussed this and they approved the plan.

'Three weeks before the death of my baby I had a positive review and a raise. I have always had positive reviews.'

Then 3 weeks after my baby died, one of my bosses started yelling at me about random things he had never cared about before: 1. My desk was too messy. 2. I voided a check and didn’t shred it right away. 3. A letter I had written with no particular deadline had not gone out yet. 4. He didn't like the way I talked to a costumer on the phone.

It was very strange, I asked him why he was suddenly so hostile to me and he denied it. I asked my other boss who said he would talk with him. Hostile boss then started taking work away from me and giving it to my co-worker, saying I was too emotionally fragile to handle it.

Then my grandmother died. While I was at the funeral, my bosses went through my entire in box and out box. When I got back, they presented me with a list of things they found in my boxes that they thought were done wrong, and they fired me for those things. They made a big show of how they found all this damning evidence.

'About 80% of their list is not an actual mistake or wrong thing. 19% is debatable. There are 2 actual mistakes they found.'

Weirdly they also complained about how they can't afford my health insurance, I'm emotionally unstable, and I will probably be gone again for another pregnancy, in between telling me that my firing was unrelated to the death of my baby and was in fact due to all these horrible mistakes they had found. This was 7 weeks after the death of my baby.

I was flabbergasted. After screaming and crying a lot, I called an employment lawyer. It seems I could sue, arguing the firing was based on my gender and pregnancy. I got a second opinion who said my employment lawyer is well respected and she agrees with his assessment.

I am totally emotionally overwhelmed. I am still grieving my baby’s death, and now I am dealing with this. I just don’t know what to do. I want revenge. I want them to burn in hell. I want to just forget they exist.

I know you are probably thinking “why are you asking us, you got legal advice, listen to your lawyer.” But, I could do with all the opinions I can get. Legal and personal advice is much appreciated.


I decided to do it. I signed the contingency fee agreement with the first lawyer I consulted today. One of the law partners came in and shook my hand and asked if she could give me a hug. She told me the nice thing about people who only care about money is that you can legally get them where it hurts. Thank you to every one for your advice, kind words, and encouragement.


Well crap. I'm really sorry. You have been dealt a massively rough hand. I am so, so sorry for your loss.

I'm trying to think, though, why they would fire you now. I mean, do you think they were looking to fire you anyway?

OP's Response

It's a very small business and I think they were freaked out that I wouldn't be pulling my weight, and they would actually be losing money on me with the cost of my health insurance, and that I would get pregnant again.

Some of this they actually hinted at in the meeting where they fired me, as they mentioned the cost of my health insurance and the fact that I would probably want more children. They also weirdly mentioned that they had talked to an employment lawyer about whether they could fire me.


Another theory I have is that the one boss was just freaked the fuck out by the death of my baby and turned that into hostility towards me. At any rate it is all very confusing and devastating.

After completing depositions and discovery, we were able to settle. It was an extremely difficult process. A little advice: treat your work email like it is public record, because it is. Even though it was hard, I am really happy I went through with it. I am happy with the settlement and happy I got to make their lives difficult for a year.

I am using part of my settlement to buy my daughter a small memorial in a public park. Also, one of my old boss's wife divorced him during all of this, and I heard from my old coworker that it was mostly because she could not believe he could be so heartless.

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