I was told “budgetary reasons” were to blame for my layoff, but I know they were worried about who would cover my work when I was on maternity leave

I was laid off from a Media Group in Chicago at 6.5 months pregnant. I was thrown into complete turmoil and had to find a new doctor that would accept someone so far along in their pregnancy. I had four days to do this. They laid me off on Monday and my benefits were cut that Friday. I felt I’d already failed my unborn child and was a complete sobbing mess while they tried to explain the unemployment process to me. No one tried to intervene and they let me get my breath before I had to get onto the highway and drive home. They escorted a 6.5 month pregnant person to the door and left me there. I was told “budgetary reasons” were to blame for my layoff, but I know they were worried about who would cover my work when I was on maternity leave. Citing “budget concerns” also gave them cover from liability and lawsuit. I spoke with a lawyer, who told me they’d basically have to say to me, “I am letting you go because you are pregnant” in order for me to have any recourse. They said budget reasons to avoid a lawsuit and save money both on my healthcare and my leave. I truly was naive then and could not believe the people I worked with would treat me this way when I was so vulnerable. I felt I’d already failed unborn child. This experience has forever transformed my view of the way corporations view women, and pregnant women in particular. It’s hardened my resolve to never trust a business, ever.

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