Maternity leave is a point of tension in many companies. Oftentimes, working mothers feel such intense pressure to keep their jobs that they return to work early after giving birth or avoid taking maternity leave at all.
While companies might encourage mothers to take maternity leave, the actions of the company do not always follow suit. One working mother at Goldman Sachs found this out the hard way.
Tania Mirchandani, a former vice president of the Goldman Sachs in Los Angeles, went on maternity leave with her third child in the fall of 2016. A few weeks into her leave, she received a call that the company was terminating her position. She had been an employee with Goldman Sachs for over 15 years.
Mirchandani filed a gender discrimination complaint against her former company in 2017, in which she requested $1.5 million in damages from Goldman Sachs. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is currently reviewing her case.
Goldman Sachs denies the allegations of gender discrimination. Instead, Mirchandani’s boss argues that the she was “terminated for strategic business planning reasons” and that males in similar positions were let go as well. According to the Los Angeles Times, Mirchandani also stated that her boss’s response to her pregnancy announcement was “[that will be] a lot of mouths to feed.” According to the lawsuit, this was not the first instance of a conflict between the plaintiff and her boss, a father of four.
Under California Law, it is illegal to discriminate against women based on pregnancy or childbirth. If you believe your company violated a discrimination law at your expense, you might be able to receive compensation.