Woman Fired For Getting Married?

Or, rather, because her boss couldn't afford to keep her on. But, as said boss rationalized it, "Now that you have a husband, he can take care of you."

This horrifying — and possibly legally problematic — tale comes courtesy of the ManlyMoney blog, and the subject is a friend of the author's — a scientist named "Susan" who was great at her job and had been there for 10 years. As he tells it, the boss had been after Susan for years to marry to ensure her financial security.

Now, this is a case of he-said, she-said, she-said — quite literally — so we can't know the boss's side of the story or how much has been dramatized. But there's no doubt this is an attitude a lot of people share, particularly in regards to women. On the one hand, it'd be natural for a boss to take comfort in the fact that a fired employee won't be destitute. But to wait ten years and then, suspiciously, fire someone because ostensibly she's got a provider, is problematic indeed. The truth is, legally speaking, a spouse's status shouldn't have a bearing on one's employment — and even if the firing's well-intentioned, it becomes discriminatory. If you're fired because your marital status changes, whatever the rationale, that's discrimination. It's also paternalistic, assuming a lot about the dynamics of a couple's relationship and, incidentally, about the stability of the husband's job. It's also imposing one's own values on another person, and an employee at that.

It reminds me of a conversation I had with a woman who used to work in publishing in the 1960s, who described it as "a job you took only until you got your "MRS" — so there was no incentive to pay a living wage." She explained that, she finally got a raise when it became clear she wasn't going to marry. "It was a combination of not wanting to invest and assuming I wouldn't need it." It's jarring to be reminded that in some quarters, attitudes haven't changed all that much.

She Was Fired Because She Got Married
[Manly Money]
[Image via Shutterstock]