Lawsuit Claims New York Hotel Denied Manager Maternity Leave After She Gave Birth in a Guest Room

Standard_Hotel_from_southwest.jpgA former manager of a high-end Manhattan hotel filed suit against her former employer in Manhattan Supreme Court in November 2012, accusing the hotel of denying her maternity leave and other acts of discrimination. She alleges that the hotel began reducing her job duties after the birth of her child and eventually unlawfully fired her. The case is particularly notable because, after working until a late stage of her pregnancy, she gave birth in one of the hotel’s guest rooms. The lawsuit seeks $10 million in damages.

Tara Kimkee Tan worked as a manager at the Standard Hotel in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. The 42 year-old Tan alleges that her supervisors told her that she did not “fit the culture” there, which she interpreted to mean that she was not “young, white, thin, childless or male.” She had reportedly gained fifteen to twenty pounds after a difficult prior pregnancy, leading to the complaints from her superiors. Tan claims that, during the four years she worked there, she frequently put in eighty to one hundred hours per week, and she continued to work long hours while she was pregnant.

On April 30, 2011, Tan reportedly went into labor near the end of her shift at the hotel, at around midnight. She alleges that hotel management did not want to disrupt the “Friday night club scene and party” at the hotel, and therefore did not offer her any assistance. She ended up alone in a fifteenth-floor guest room, where she waited for about two hours until her husband arrived from their New Jersey home. He reportedly delivered the baby himself at about 2:30 a.m., with guidance from their doctor via cell phone. Hotel staff then made her leave via a side door, she claims, so as not to disturb the guests.

Tan remotely returned to work three days after giving birth, but she says that the hotel docked the time she missed from her pay. Her superiors gradually stripped her of job duties, and the general manager allegedly mocked her for giving birth at the hotel. In August 2011, she claims that she was subjected to a false accusation of stealing supplies from the office, and that the hotel used this as a pretext to fire her. Tan maintains that she removed several boxes of personal effects, not hotel property
New York prohibits discrimination in employment based on gender, race, and other factors at the state and, in New York City, municipal level. Employees who believe that their employer has subjected them to discrimination in promotions, assignment of job duties, layoffs, termination, and other features or benefits of employment based on their gender or race may have a claim for damages. Pregnancy discrimination is considered a form of unlawful gender discrimination.

At Phillips & Associates, we work to safeguard the rights of employees and job seekers in the New York City area who have experienced pregnancy discrimination and other forms of employment discrimination in violation of federal, state, and local laws. Contact us today online or at (212) 248-7431 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

More Blog Posts:

New York Cosmetics Company Sued for Pregnancy Discrimination by Former Project Manager, New York Employment Attorney Blog, December 27, 2012
Former “Price is Right” Model Wins $8M Verdict in Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit, New York Employment Attorney Blog, December 20, 2012
Former Account Executive Sues NBA for Pregnancy and Gender Discrimination, New York Employment Attorney Blog, November 23, 2012
Photo credit: By Beyond My Ken (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

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