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Pregnant and job-seeking

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Question: What is your opinion?  An individual is job searching, and she’s three months pregnant. Does she inform a potential employer that she’s pregnant (voluntarily)?  If so, how?  If not, after she’s employed ... how and when? Should she just stay at her current employer? - Jean/Kansas

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Do you have good insurance where you are? If so, stay! If you do choose to seek employment elsewhere, definitely let them know you are expecting and how you think it will affect your work. If you wait, they will feel like you took advantage of them.

My friend was going through this same concern and she was upfront with the employer at the interview and she was hired and they have been very nice through the whole thing. If I hired someone who did not reveal this I might feel it was delibrate because if you are hiring it is because you are down staff, but if someone was honest and I felt they were a good fit I wouldn't let it stop me from hiring them.

Another department went through this recently and hired someone who was 6 months pregnant. We were all happy that she was given the job and things were going great...until she had the baby and decided to be a stay-at-home mommy. Not that that's a bad thing!! But part of her agreement was that after a 6 week maternity leave she would return to work and during her leave she would keep in contact with the office via e-mails and conference calls. It really left the dept in a bind. Not only having to find and train another person, but the time, expense and everything that went into her training. It's sad but I can't see any other department here hiring someone pregnant any time soon.

The Employer has the right to know, because if that expectant mother is hired, maternity leave is in the future which leaves job responsibilities hanging and for others to complete. It not only effects the person but the company as well.
It would be the mature, responsible thing to do.

I would start by asking what the entire interview process consists of on the first interview - how many steps and people are involved in the interview process.. Unless it is a one step process, I would not recommend discussing your personal medical situation on the first interviw, however wait until you have been called back for a second. You will then know that they are serious about your skillset and potential with them as an employee and you can break the ice by asking benefit questions regarding short term disability, vacation leave, medical insurance waiting periods, etc. allowing you to easily transition into the subject. However, I would also recommend that if you have been at your current employer longer than a year with decent insurance, you may wish to consider sticking around for the sole benefit of FMLA. At least then, you will know that there is a guaranteed position with equal duties and pay that will be waiting for you when you get ready to return.

My advice is to stay with your current employer and use FMLA to care for your child. During that time search for another job. Why? Frequently pregnancy health benefits at the new employer may not cover your current pregnancy expenses and subsequent child birth. Hence, many pregnant new employees keep their previous health coverage as COBRA until after the child birth.

IF, you must change employers to reduce travel distance, and not for harassment or other Title VII transgressions by your current employer, then broach your situation when the offer is made and ask about the health benefits. Based on the answer either:
1. accept the job and go on the new health insurance
2. accept the job and keep COBRA until childbirth but sign on the new insurance to have your child eligible for health coverage as soon as it is born.

I have been in her boat and as soon as I told them I was pregnant, I was not considered for the position. On the other side, I had a girl that was transferring from another branch. She did not tell me she was pregnant until after she worked for me for a week. I felt decieved and when she went on leave, I had to cover her job. If she had been up front before, at least I could have assessed the option and made arrangements accordingly. I might not have hired her but at least I would have known the facts and not felt cheated.
I would suggest she stay where she is at and while on leave, decide whether or not to return or seek other employment. That is more fair to everyone. They would have gotten someone trained to do her job while she is out and everyone knows that 50% of new moms don't return.

I just came back from maternity leave, and during my pregnancy several positions in the company came open (they would have been promotions rather than lateral moves, and I was qualified). A couple I really would have liked to look into a little more. I wasn't showing until late into my first trimester, and some said they couldn't tell until my last trimester. I didn't apply, though, as learning a new job and adjusting to a new baby would have been overwhelming for me.

First, it depends on the position (office or field), and, I think, it also depends on if they already have a child/children in daycare or not. We hired someone who was pregnant, but didn't know until after we hired her. She was far along (like 6 months) but we couldn't tell, since her youngest was 8 months old, and she had three more kids. It worked out pretty well. She even came back to work sooner than her given leave time. She did, however, miss more days than the other girls, since so many kids can mean so many more "sick" days for you!

It's against the law to discriminate against pregnant women. Be straight forward. Tell them at the end of the interview, and let them know what your plans are when you return from maternity leave. (tell them your daycare plan, they like that.) Ask the company what their policy is.

Our policy is that if you are hired and you go out on LOA within 6 weeks after you are hired, we have the right to terminate you. If you go to full term, we only allow 6 weeks maternity leave.

We actually had a woman who was 7 months pregnant apply for a position, we offered her the position, but she wasn't too comfortable with the possibility of being terminated if she delivered prior to the 6 week allowed time. She decided not to take the risk. She would have been a great candidate.

So my suggestion is call HR anonymously and find out what the policy is for pregnancy at hire date and the possibility of going out early.

Again, it's against the law to discriminate.

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