Lawyers Pushing Out Woman After Engagement Panned: 'Now Paid Twice as Much'

A law firm that pushed out one of its workers after she announced her engagement is being bashed on a popular Reddit forum.

The worker, u/Citizenbeck, shared her story to the r/antiwork subreddit, earning 15,700 upvotes and 500 comments in six hours for her post, "My career was going great until I got engaged..."

She said she worked at the law firm for five years before she told the owner that she'd gotten engaged to her boyfriend. Though things were "going great" up to that point, things changed on a dime following this disclosure.

"The literal first words out of his mouth were 'when are you going to stop working?' When I asked what he meant by that he explained that when women get married, they have kids and stop working. I told him I did not plan on having kids, so not to worry," u/Citizenbeck wrote.

But worry he apparently did, and things quickly got worse for the original poster (OP). She says that though she didn't have a vacation for the past four years, when she took a half day for some physical therapy, her bosses insisted she stay late to make up the time. But the breaking point came when they gave the office she'd had for five years to a new hire—"older male, go figure"—and moved her to a cubicle.

The OP says her tale has a happy ending, however. She found a new job and earns twice as much as she made at the old law firm—and found out after leaving that firm that she was being "significantly underpaid" when compared to her male coworkers.

In comments, she said that she did not plan to sue the law firm for discrimination or harassment, because it was a sure-fire way to get blacklisted in the industry.

"I work in a very small niche area if the law," u/Citizenbeck wrote. "If I'd have sued them I would have needed to change the type of law I practice, open my own firm, or move to a new area in order to get another job in the same area of law."

She also added that in addition to treating her with respect, the new firm will urge her to take time off if they see that she hasn't in a while.

workplace sexism discrimination lawfirm reddit viral antiwork
A woman is being supported after sharing her story of how a sexist law firm pushed her out after she announced she was getting married. iStock/Getty Images

While the OP felt she couldn't sue her old employers in her situation, for those who can, Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) lays out a seven-step plan for someone who thinks they're being discriminated against at work. The first step is to review the company handbook to look for specific policies that are being violated, and how its complaint procedure works. If this isn't clear in the handbook, ERA says to reach out to Human Resources.

Next, make sure to get in writing detailed accounts of what happened, when it happened and if there were any witnesses or anyone else that was involved. As incidents happen, try to write them down quickly, lest any details become forgotten.

Make sure to keep these records at home or in a personal email account—anywhere that is both safe and not controlled by the workplace. Also, keep copies of any emails, texts or voicemails that are related to the discrimination being faced.

Next, go to Human Resources to report a complaint if possible, and do so in writing—and keep a copy of these reports. In addition, go to the union representative if one exists. If things are still not being dealt with by the company, file with a government agency; this is usually either the federal-level Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or a fair employment agency at the state level. In California, the Civil Rights Department is the agency that will handle discrimination complaints.

The ERA says it's important to keep track of deadlines—usually 180 days from the last act of discrimination, but in some states that deadline extends to 300 days. And, finally, talk to a lawyer—some lawyers will offer a free consultation to determine one's legal options.

Newsweek has run several articles about discrimination, including a bar dragged for its sexist hiring advertisement asking for large-busted women only, a Redditor who changed their name after facing racism while looking for work and a woman who was told "I was expecting a man" when she showed up to a job interview.

Redditors had u/Citizenbeck's back.

"I find it weird that law firms are willing to f**k with their employees.. who are lawyers,' u/Due_Seesaw_2816 wrote.

"Not all employees of law firms are lawyers. Some of us are paralegals and legal assistants. Still, its amazing how law firms like to mess with their employees, like we don't have access to the same law books they do," u/JustMe518 added.

"Sounds like your career is still going great, just not with the sexist a**hole employers you started with. In fact with the pay rise, it sounds like it is going way better than with the a**hats," u/ChildOf1970 wrote.