She Was 9 Months Pregnant …

Last week I had one of the most difficult days of my life.

I found out that a woman who has been working with me for the past three years was stealing from me, disclosing confidential company information to competitors, and bad mouthing me.  This was a woman who started with me as a $12/hour employee and worked her way up into the role of a $4,000/mo. Contractor who I was coaching into her own business that could have had limitless potential.

Ouch.

And, despite all that, i agonized over the decision as to whether to fire her because she’s 9 months pregnant.

It all started when I was sitting with her at her desk and could tell there was something in her email she didn’t want me to see and I glimpsed the name of one of the attorneys that had previously been working with my law firm and seeing clients.

That night, I accessed her email and spent the next 5 hours reading through a years worth of emails that had me horrified.

Going all the way back to early 2007, it appears she had been emailing confidential firm information to her stepmother, also a lawyer.  And, even though I was paying her a guaranteed minimum because she said she wasn’t yet getting work from other law firms, it turns out she was taking work from the other law firms, not paying a referral fee and using our supplies (including our Fedex shipping number!) to do work for those other law firms!!

The truly sad part is that if she had just been honest, it would’ve all been hunky-dorey.  Well, ok, not the part about emailing confidential information to her stepmom; that wouldn’t have been ok.

But, I always wanted her to work for other lawyers.  I had spent hours with her preparing her to go into business on her own.  For some reason, though, she lied about it and now, at 9 months preggo, she’s seriously comprised her ability to earn an income.

Worst of all, now that we’ve gone through all her files it appears that she’s been fake-working for the last several months.  There was lots of work that was just not done.  This has not been one of my favorite weeks to be an entrepreneur, that’s for sure.

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5 Comments

Filed under Entrepreneurism

5 responses to “She Was 9 Months Pregnant …

  1. barbaraboser

    Wow-That story makes me sick to my stomach. I can’t imagine that type of betrayal.

  2. LA Blogger Gal

    wow, what a shame that she brought that on to herself. Having to fire someone is never fun. I think it’s even worse when you find out that someone you trusted has wronged you. Good luck with everything.

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  5. “wow, what a shame that she brought that on to herself. Having to fire someone is never fun.”

    In this case, it is FUN to fire someone. I am just wondering how she got through you without doing any work for so long? Especially if you are a small business, you usually want to monitor your employees a little more closely to make sure that they are worth what you are paying them. For example, you should have asked her to put down her hours, and what she accomplished each week. Then REVIEW what she has done to see if she has been honest, and quite frankly, worth the money you pay her. You can’t trust anyone who works for you, especially if you are paying them only $12/hour. You have to realize that to her, $12/hour hour isn’t alot, but to you, it is an expense. They don’t care about your business the way the owner cares, they only care about making money. Employees don’t care if they cheat you, and they don’t care how they make the money. All they care about is making it. That is fine, as long as they do their job.

    With that said, I am sorry this moron cheated you, and of course she will use her pregnancy to screw you. But let this be a lesson learned, that you cannot trust anyone. You get what you pay for after all. If you can afford it, I would cut your staff and raise your rates. There is nothing more profitable than holding onto your employees in the long run, building faith and and better relationship between them. You could get more work done if you have fewer employees working harder, and paying them a little more. Trust me 😉

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