Your employer cannot discriminate against you because you’re pregnant. You can’t be turned down for promotions or projects, or terminated based solely on your pregnancy. However, some employers push the anti-discrimination law to its outer limits.
If you think your employer will react badly to your happy news, announce it at the best possible time by:
Correlating it with a Big Win
Make your announcement after something large at work has just wrapped up, such as landing a new client; or a large project was just finished. Announcing your pregnancy after a major company or job milestone, will have your employer thinking highly of you.
While pregnancy discrimination is illegal, it’s difficult to prove. If you have an upcoming review scheduled, wait until a couple of weeks after that to tell your employer to ensure your pregnancy doesn’t affect the review.
Wait until after the First Trimester
Historically women have done this because of the increased possibility of miscarriage. However, if you wait to tell your employer until you are further along, your employer will see it hasn’t affected your ability to continue to be a valuable part of the team. If you announce early, your boss may be thinking of all the missed work and department issues they’ll be having to compensate for your lack of productivity.
There are a handful of reasons not to wait.
If your job is very stressful or physically demanding, telling your employer as soon as possible will mean fewer dangers to your health and the baby’s. If your boss will need to reassign you, telling her/him earlier rather than later is best for everyone involved.
If you have had severe complications with previous pregnancies or with this one, being honest about what’s going on is best, especially if you want to continue working for your employer after the baby is born. Handling the situation professionally and early will help you maintain that relationship afterwards.
The employer offers pregnancy benefits and programs. Some employers offer pregnancy benefits such as classes and monitoring that may be advantageous to begin as soon as possible. Don’t try to sneak into the health clinic to participate without telling your boss. Be upfront about your pregnancy if you’d like to participate and they’ll appreciate it far more than hearing the news from someone else in the company.
Create a Plan
Familiarize yourself with your company’s maternity leave policy and programs. With those in mind create a plan and present it to your employer. You’ll want to include the amount of time you’re taking off and whether you’re looking for unpaid time as well. Being honest about how much time you’ll need will help your employer cover your workload while you’re gone. The sooner s/he can make provisions, the better your boss will feel about it.
If you feel you’ve been discriminated against due to announcing your pregnancy, or taking maternity leave, contact Wenzel, Fenton, Cabassa P.A. today to schedule your free consultation.