Some bosses openly resent it when subordinates announce that they’re pregnant. They may act even worse if complications force an employee to miss work for doctors’ appointments.
Warn them to never do or say anything that indicates anger, disappointment or annoyance.
Recent case: Shawna had pregnancy complications and frequently had to see her doctor. Her supervisor expressed his displeasure in petty ways—throwing paper at her and accusing her of not being a team player. Shawna complained to, but nothing changed. Then Shawna was fired. She sued, alleging interference with her leave rights.
The court said Shawna had a case because the abuse followed her. She’ll have a chance to prove that the supervisor’s behavior made her hesitant to exercise her leave rights. (Graves v. Pau Hana, et al., No. 2:13-CV-01278, ED CA, 2013)
- Avoid the high cost of corporate dishonesty
- Common sense: It's OK to urge employee to use paid leave instead of unpaid FMLA
- Don't pry too deeply when seeking proof of sick leave
- Let other leave fill gap until FMLA eligibility
- Warn managers and supervisors: You may be personally liable for discrimination!