Susan had been a landlord-tenant litigator for nine years, with a three year old daughter (Zohra), when she was home on maternity leave with her second daughter (Sadia). Although she had negotiated five months at home, her employer began harassing her just seven weeks in to return to work full-time immediately, refusing to honor their contractual agreement, and refusing to take no for an answer. As a result, those first few months with Sadia were marred by stress and anger. Susan spent much of the time when she should have been bonding with her baby crying, sending angry emails, feeling disrespected, and, mostly, feeling guilty for being so distracted. She lost sleep, she lost her milk supply, and she felt like she had failed her daughter by squandering this precious time that she could never get back.
This whole time Susan couldn’t stop thinking about how much worse it would have been if she hadn’t had the job security and backbone to stick to her guns. She had a successful husband, a law degree, and the resources to ensure that she would be fine, however it worked out. But she kept thinking about those women who didn’t have the wherewithal and the resources to say no. What would they have had to do? Bring their newborns to the office to nap in a travel crib (something Susan’s then-boss actually suggested)?
Susan decided to open her own law firm to help other women stand up for themselves in the workplace and to fight for more collectivist policies that recognize the value, the joys and difficulties of bonding and caring for a newborn. A lifelong feminist (she was the first female wrestler at her high school), Susan decided to open a law firm in line with her values dedicated to fighting gender and pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. Today, Crumiller P.C. strives to make the American workplace more equal, resulting in better lives for employees who are fulfilling their goals, and a better economy by eliminating wasted potential.