But after working such long and hard hours that she literally gave birth on the job, Tara was shocked to be fired for not being one of the “beautiful people” she worked so hard for. Her employer claims it was because she stole office supplies.
“It was my last day of work before I went out on my maternity leave. My daughter wasn’t due for another two or three weeks, but my doctor had been pressuring me to leave since I had high blood pressure and gestational diabetes,” said the petite marathoner and now mom of two. It was a Friday night, a big night for the hotel known for patrons who put on sex shows in front of full length windows at the hotel, as well as public bathrooms with stalls that face out to the street below, providing everyone with a view of their ‘business.’
Tan was making one last round when she started feeling odd. She called for her husband Sean to come from New Jersey to get her. But her daughter Madison wouldn’t wait, and Tara soon found herself giving birth in a hotel room as Sean arrived, on the phone with her doctor.
“He was knocking at the door. And I was just holding on to the table, my fingernails were bent from gripping so hard!” recounted Tan. “But then I crawled to the door and I was thinking, ‘Don’t knock so loud!’ It’s Friday night, an important night, and I didn’t want any guests disturbed who were here for partying.”
An ambulance was brought to sneak the mom and baby out the side door, so guests would not see Tan. She said she was back working remotely from home three days after being discharged from the hospital.
“Tara is an extremely dedicated employee, and to be fires because when wasn’t six feet tall and had a few extra pounds after the birth was wrong,” said Tan’s attorney Keith Watanabe. He’s now seeking five million or more in a lawsuit for back wages and damages.
“They basically told her, ‘Look, you’re 40, with two kids, you don’t fit our culture,” says Watanabe.
“I didn’t steal anything,” insisted Tan as a look of anguish washed over her face. “I worked 80, 100 hours a week to open that hotel when there weren’t other managers. I cared for my guests: the stars, the musicians, the celebrities. I never took so much as a pen from them.”