Working moms have it rough in America. A majority don’t get paid maternity leave, which means they end up back at work sooner than they would like, only to feel as if they’re looked down upon for having a baby at all.
This post that proves that even when a person does get “enough” maternity leave, their employers could still make their lives a living hell post-baby.
OP is the woman in question’s employer, and runs a small team that works on long-term projects.
While the employee has been on maternity leave they completed one project and are about halfway through a new one.
I feel like the devil right now, so I’ll accept whatever judgement you all have.
I run a team of about 6 people. Our company offers a large amount of maternity leave, 10 months. One of my employees got pregnant recently, i’ll call her Jess.
Our team does project based work and in the period between her leaving for ML we finished up the project we were working on when she left, and started working on a project without her.
In order to cope with the employee’s absence during maternity leave the other members of the team have taken on shares of her duty, and they also hired a young employee who does the rest of her duties for a fraction of the pay.
During this period, our team had to adapt to working without her expertise in certain matters. We adapted and eventually some of us developed the skills needed to do some of her workload.
The situation we have now is me, and 2 others split half the work that Jess used to do, and we hired someone new to come in to the team to handle the other part of Jess’s workload and then some.
This new employee came at significantly reduced cost, as he was straight out of Uni and we pay him a fraction of what Jess costs currently.
At the same time the woman was returning from leave, OP found out they would not be able to employ a 7-person team instead of a 6-person team, so they had a decision to make.
They decided to fire the woman returning from leave for the following reasons:
Now Jess has come back to the team, but there is another issue.
Our firm has informed us that for some fucking reason we no longer have the budget for a 7 person team, and will have to let someone go. This news came about when I submitted the paperwork for Jess’s return.
We are 5 months into a project that should take an estimated 10 months, and my decision came down to Jess and the man we hired to replace her. The reason we hired a replacement, which is not normally what we do, is because we anticipated that for this project the workload would be far greater than our current capacity, which it is not.
As you can tell by the title, I chose the replacement. I did so for the following reasons:
Far cheaper, thus freeing up a lot more money than keeping Jess on
He was up to date with the project and we would be able to move forward seamlessly, whereas with Jess we would have to take time catching her up to speed on half the project
The clients already knew and liked working with him, whereas they didn’t know Jess at all
She has been out of the field for a prolonged period, whilst he has been here for the past 9 months, so she may, or may not, find it hard to adapt back to work life, whilst with him it isn’t a question
He performed his work better than she did hers and interacted better with the team.
He offered to write her a recommendation letter and suggested perhaps they would have the money to re-hire her in the future, but she’s obviously pissed off.
Obviously, the ideal situation which I wanted was to keep both and not put a new single mother with no other job lined up out in the cold, but I had to do right by the team and firm. I told her I’d write her a brilliant Letter of Recommendation, and that in a few months she could try and apply for a job at our firm, hopefully we’ll have the budget, but she snapped at me and told me not to bother, and called me a c**t and left.
Now OP is wondering whether he could possibly by the “devil,” since that’s how he’s being treated.
I know I sound cold and heartless but I had to be fair to both employees, not just Jess, right?
Reddit…they have some thoughts.
The top comment points out that all of the reasons were actually due to her maternity leave, and it’s illegal to fire someone for taking maternity leave.
This person accuses OP of punishing a new mom for the mistakes made by the company.
And more than one person figures this is a good-old-boy situation.
Everyone thinks it’s pretty gross.
This commenter lists a couple of major management errors.
I’d be surprised if this woman doesn’t sue, because she definitely should.
Would you be out for blood if this had happened to you? Tell us why or why not in the comments!