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I am currently 21 weeks pregnant, and not really showing at this point; I just look a little puffy. I currently have several job interviews lined up in the field that I LOVE! My question is this: Is it my responsibility to inform my potential employers of my pregnancy, or should the pregnancy have no impact on whether I'm hired or not?”

8 replies so far...

  • I say, don't ask don't tell. Just go get that job and then you will make further arrangements. I've interviewed while pregnant and never mentioned it. As a matter of fact, I got pregnant during my last college semester (April 2003), I was graduating in May and I was looking for a job. I threw up in the mornings and then went on interviews. I didn't care. I wanted a job and I always knew I was going to work after having children. So I mentioned nothing and went on the job interviews just like I would if I weren't pregnant. Confident. Don't feel bad or anything about being pregnant. You are qualified just like anyone else.

    I mean think about it. What if you broke your leg or arm two or three months after getting a job? Or what if you needed surgery and then had to take 4-6 weeks off to rest and recover? Would that stop you from getting a job?

    My company hired my manager, a male, and two months after working he had to have knee surgery. He was out of work for about a month, then returned. He was not ashamed or anything. It's part of life.

    No one can tell you when to have a family.

    So if you want that job, you go get it.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 27th July 2008

  • Unfortunately, the truth is that if you tell them, the odds are that you will not be offered the job. It's almost impossible to prove discrimination at this phase of the game, but it's happened too many times to too many of us to count. Legally, morally, and ethically, imho, you are under absolutely NO obligation to tell them, any more than a prospective father would be if he were interviewing. What I will say is that if you're interviewing because you want the job and want to return to the job, that's one thing. If however, your intent is solely for medical benefits, then while it's might not be legall fraud, imho, it's ethical and moral fraud. And quite frankly, if I were the employer, I'd think twice regarding any type of recommendation afterward. It's people like that that give the situation a VERY bad name. We're only trying to provide for our family and ourselves. But you need to do it with class, not trash, imho.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by JKLD on 25th July 2008

  • As previously stated, you do not HAVE to mention your pregnancy. While your status is legally protected against discrimination, if you don't get the job, it would be difficult to prove that it was due to pregnancy. However, I recently hired a young woman who told me after the fact that she was expecting and that she'd "just found out." (She told one of my other employees that she knew before the interview) She used her baby as an excuse to not do many of the tasks expected of her. Being a mother myself, I probably wouldv'e still hired her. The fact that she was not up front with me, however, and that she was unable to perform her duties (my field requires at least 2 hours of standing) honestly made me mad and I had serious trust issues with her. I invested a lot of time and energy training her those first two weeks and she ended up quitting right after. I was thankful not to have to deal with whether or not I could/should fire her (for not being able to do the job). But it was really frustrating and it took it's toll on the entire crew.
    Now, I don't know what line of work you are in, but you may want to consider whether or not there are or could be reasons why you may not be able to perform at least most of the duties. (Excepting anything extreme like bedrest, of course).
    I think you should go for those interviews, get a feel for the company/boss, and decide toward the end of the interview whether or not you want to tell them.

    Best of luck to you with baby and job!!!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by irish_luck on 25th July 2008

  • You are not legally obligated to disclose information about your pregnancy, or family status and it's illegal for an employer to ask.

    Beyond the legal issue is an ethical issue because like any relationship, employer/employee relationships are based on trust. If you hide your pregnancy and end up getting the job, your employer may not be happy with your "lie by omission" and it could damage your work relationship. The ramifications of this could stay with you for a long time while you attempt to rebuild the trust between you and your employer. Plus, disclosing your pregnancy (after you receive the offer and are in the negotiation process), is actually a really good opportunity to see how well your employer supports working mothers and the whole work/life balance issue. You may discover that the employer isn't really a good fit for your life after seeing their reaction.

    On the positive side, I know it's absolutely possible to land a terrific job while pregnant. I've done it before and have a friend who is pregnant and recently landed an awesome job with a new employer that not only gave her an amazing compensation and relocation package, but also supports her impending maternity leave.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Michele Dortch on 24th July 2008

  • You don't have to say a thing. And in fact, it would behoove you to mention your pregnancy only after an offer has been extended.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Corvette1975 on 24th July 2008

  • Hi Rach,
    I tend to agree with Sandy. I think it's really a tough call. On one hand you want to be honest and tell them about your pregnancy because it will affect your schedule and you will need time off once the baby is born. On the other hand, it could really back fire and they might not want a pregnant lady who will need time off shortly after start date. I don't think i would disclose it in my first interview. If things are going well and you think you might get an offer - then I would consider mentioning it at that point, as in full disclosure type of thing, after you had some time to "sell" your skills to this potential employer.
    Good luck!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Victoria on 24th July 2008

  • I recently researched this, since I was thinking about interviewing, too. I am now 26 weeks pregnant. Legally, potential employers are not allowed to ask, nor are you required to discuss, that you are pregnant. However, if you bring it up, then they are allowed to ask questions that pertain to you being able to do the job well.
    Even though you aren't legally required to say anything, I think it would cause undue resentment on the part of your employers if they hire you, and then realize that you will be leaving for a few weeks in 4 months or so. It is best to be upfront in this respect. The truth is that they are not allowed to discriminate against you for being pregnant, but to them, it might not be worth the effort of hiring you, and then finding someone to replace you for 6 weeks. However, if you are upfront with them and then stress how much you are interested in the position and really stress all your strong points, they might hire you anyway and think of it as an investment!
    Good luck with whatever you decide.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Sandhya on 24th July 2008

  • Rach -- welcome to WIM, first of all -- but for some interesting views on this, you should check out a recent featured we did where two moms offered their thoughts:

    Legally, as far as I know (I am not a lawyer, but have once asked a lawyer about this), you're not obligated to disclose anything. In my experience, it's a judgment call depending on situation. You want to make sure you're being fair to yourself and to your employer. I want to say that your pregnancy should not matter, but I think the reality is that it sometimes does.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nataly on 24th July 2008