Tara Kimkee Tan: Former manager denied maternity leave, sues Standard hotel

Tara Kimkee Tan with her newborn daughter.

A four-year employee of New York’s Standard hotel is suing the swanky hot spot after she gave birth to her child in a guestroom without medical assistance and claims she was denied maternity leave.

Tara Kimkee Tan is seeking at least $10 million from the posh hotel above the High Line where she was a manager. According to the suit, Tan went into labor late on the night of April 30. She said she labored alone in a guestroom without medical assistance for almost two hours until her daughter was born, as her husband desperately rushed to the hotel while on the phone with their doctor.

“At one point when she called the desk to get help, the response was, ‘This is a joke, right?,’” Tan’s attorney, William Keith Watanabe, told Metro. “After the baby was delivered, Tara was removed from a side entrance because she couldn’t have been taken through the lobby because it would have disrupted the Friday party scene.”  

The suit also alleges Tan was denied maternity leave, despite putting in 80-hour work weeks, a result of the company not having an efficient human resources component, according to Watanabe. Tan also claims she was ridiculed by the general manager for giving birth inside a guestroom.

She was eventually fired in August when company officials told the petite Asian mother of two that she “did not fit the culture,” which the suit describes as one that is young, hip and full of beautiful people. According to her attorney, hotel officials also suspected Tan of taking company property.

“She emptied out her office. After four years of practically living at the hotel, it was baby pictures, diapers, crayons, shoes, and that’s what she removed,” Watanabe said. “What else would she have in her office that was worth taking?”

Watanabe said Thursday the Standard hotel had not yet responded to the suit, but he believed Tan has a “terrific chance” at winning the case.

“I think the complaint speaks for itself,” he said. “Tara is a terrific person, there is no reason this should happen to anyone. She gave her heart and soul to this place.”

The Standard hotel referred Metro to public relations agency Black Frame, which then responded that the Standard is not issuing any comment at this time.


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