Contributor: Diane Hauser, Esq.
Diane Hauser is an attorney at Paisner Litvin, LLP (www.paisnerlitvin.com). Ms. Hauser focuses her practice exclusively on labor and employment law, including collective bargaining negotiations, labor arbitrations, unfair labor practice proceedings, EEO agency proceedings, FMLA, Title VII, ADA and wage and hour issues. Ms. Hauser is a magna cum laude graduate of Villanova School of Law, where she was an associate editor of the Villanova Law Review. She holds a bachelors degree from the University of Virginia. Ms. Hauser is a member of the Pennsylvania and New Jersey bars.
In November 2008, my two and a half year old son, Matthew, was diagnosed with stage four Burkitt’s Lymphoma. By the time it was discovered, the disease had spread to not only his lymph node system, but also his bone marrow and spinal fluid. Needless to say, this diagnosis was devastating news to my entire family, including me, my husband Bill, and our four year old son, Will.
At the time of Matthew’s diagnosis, I was working part time at a small law firm, Paisner Litvin, LLP, as a labor and employment law attorney. I joined Paisner Litvin, after working in-house for several years, in order to spend more time with my young children. However, after Matthew was diagnosed, I was worried that I would not be able to maintain even a part-time schedule, as my husband and I were told that Matthew would require months of intensive chemotherapy, most of which would be in-patient at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. I didn’t know how I was going to manage Matthew’s treatment, take care of our older son Will, and also be able to work. I also was not sure how my firm would respond to my situation, given the challenges I would be facing.
Fortunately for me, Paisner Litvin handled the situation wonderfully. They were not only supportive, but they gave me the flexibility to work when, where and how much I wanted during the period of Matthew’s treatment. I was able to work at home, and even at the hospital, and had the ability to turn down work when it conflicted with Matthew’s treatment. This flexibility gave me the ability to keep working during the entire period of Matthew’s treatment. The firm continued to give me this flexibility even after Matthew’s treatment was completed (successfully!), as his treatment caused some long term side effects, which – to this day – require many doctor’s appointments and procedures, including the need for a three hour IV infusion every four weeks, in order to boost his immune system.
The manner in which Paisner Litvin handled my situation both during and after Matthew’s treatment garnered tremendous amounts of gratitude and loyalty, which cannot be overstated. In 2014, I became a full-time partner with the firm. I never would have considered taking on this full-time role with the firm, had I not had the confidence that the firm would be supportive of my situation and allow me the flexibility that I needed to manage a full-time work load and also take care of my personal situation. Since joining the firm as a full-time partner in 2014, I have been presented with several other job opportunities. As tempting as some of them have been, I have stayed with the firm because I appreciate all that the firm has done for me, and because I have the confidence that I will be able to balance my personal and work load during the years to come, regardless of the challenges that face me.
Despite his side effects, Matthew is now a happy, healthy eleven year old boy. I am eternally grateful that I am able to be there for him and his brother as a mom, and also be able to manage a full-time labor and employment law practice. I believe that my situation has benefited not just me and my family, but my firm as well, as the firm has the benefit of a loyal and dedicated attorney who appreciates all that has been done for her and who plans on sticking around for the long term.
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