Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2011


Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2011.


In 1982, when Lillian Garland, a receptionist at a West Los Angeles branch of California Federal Savings and Loan, took maternity leave to have a baby, she didn’t plan on spending several months away from work. But Garland suffered complications; the doctor delivered her daughter by Caesarean section and prescribed three months’ leave.

When Garland sought to return to work at Cal Fed, the bank told her that her job had been filled; no other positions were available. Garland, a single mother and now unemployed, couldn’t pay the rent on her apartment and was evicted. She agreed to let the father take care of their infant daughter; then she lost custody of the child.

But Garland was a fighter. She sued to regain custody. And she sought to enforce her right to maternity leave, which was guaranteed by California law. “Women should not have to choose between being a mother and having a job,” she told Time.