'Desperate Housewives': Does Pregnancy Kill Your Career?

Poor Lynette. With each passing week on Desperate Housewives, she has found it harder to hide her pregnancy. Last night, all of her efforts culminated in a career train wreck.

Any working mother could sympathize with Lynette's (Felicity Huffman) predicament. She had two choices. Option A: Announce her pending baby, and risk losing a promotion to someone else -- someone who wasn't going to be taking maternity leave six months' down the road. Option B: Hide the pregnancy until after the promotion. By the time her boss, Carlos (Ricardo Chavira), found out, she would already be at a higher level. He wouldn't have the chance to go with another candidate.

For the record, Lynette shouldn't have had to hide her condition. It's against the law to pass someone over for a promotion because of pregnancy. But Lynette knew that Carlos, like a lot of employers, would do just that, and then offer some random reason for choosing the other candidate. "I didn't tell Carlos because I knew I was the best person for the job," she told Gaby (Eva Longoria Parker) last night. But the truth was, she didn't trust Carlos to do the right thing. (Sadly, she was right. Carlos did, in fact, favor Lynette over a coworker who revealed that she was pregnant.)

Last night, when Carlos finally discovered the news, he had a characteristic response: He tried to push Lynette out. "You can't fire me for being pregnant," she said. True enough. But he could make her life miserable by transferring her to the Miami office. "I'm offering you a promotion," said Carlos, maliciously. "If you choose to turn it down and quit instead, I can't stop you." Desperate Housewives is a campy, silly trip of a show, but it often points to a genuine truth. This move of Carlos' is right out of a typical office playbook.

The sad twist about Carlos and Lynette's face-off was that neither was standing on high ground. Both acted in their own interests. And no one won. "You should have told Carlos two months ago," said Tom (Doug Savant), earlier in the episode. Amen to that. She wouldn't have gotten the promotion, but if she really was "the best person for the job," then she would have gotten it eventually. In the meantime, she could have stuck with her current position, enjoyed some time with her babies, and tackled new work responsibilities later.

Do you think pregnant women are treated unfairly on the job? Chime in below!

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