I had been at my job for over 3 years and I had been trying to become pregnant for nearly 4 years when I finally conceived my twins. It was a very small company that made ePCR software which was used in ambulances in some of the largest fire departments in the U.S. but there were only 5 of us in the whole company. Being so small and having been there a long time, I looked on them as family. It had been on such a hard road to finally get pregnant that I waited until I was out of the danger zone to let my boss and coworkers know I was pregnant at the crucial 12 week point. I immediately noticed a change in the attitude of one of my co-workers. He was the person who managed our projects and he immediately started to ask me questions about how I was managing my time. It got to the point where he was asking me to document every minute of my day. This was not sanctioned by my manager or the owner of the company and my boss told me to ignore him. Soon the verbal
harassment became emails saying that I hadn’t “submitted my hours for that week” and this was “my second warning”. I brought it to my boss and we sat down, agreed he was not only out of line, but discriminating against me, and I thought that was that. Then the company started paying me late, or not paying me at all until I said something, and at one point I was 2 months behind in paychecks. The project manager kept harassing me and I finally, at the suggestion of my boss, asked to speak one on one with the owner of the company. We scheduled a meeting and then he cancelled and rescheduled…then cancelled and rescheduled again. Then, one week before I would have begun my maternity leave, the “meeting” took place. It was supposed to be one on one but the project manager was there. My boss was nowhere to be seen and I later learned, hadn’t even been told about the meeting. The entire meeting was a planned assault in which they ultimately “laid me off”. My boss was livid. The week following that involved back and forth with the owner of the company who was blackmailing me that he’d yank all my medical insurance and make me take him to court for my final pay if I did not sign a revised employment contract as part of my “termination” and was trying to spin it so it looked like I had been fired, but also trying to get out of paying me the severance moneys my contract required. I got a lawyer to call his bluff and after a week of extreme stress, I got my final check, kept my insurance intact, and ended up having my blood pressure go through the roof, resulting in my twins being born a month early. I had NO recourse because the company size made them immune from any legal action for discrimination nor were they required to hold to the family medical leave act. I had to walk away knowing they had not only robbed me of my job, but almost robbed me of my children and my life, and they would get away with it. That is the sort of country I live in.