Do You Have To Tell Your Boss You’re Pregnant?
When I was pregnant with my third child, I had just started a new job and had recently been released off of my training period. I struggled with the decision if I needed to inform my boss that I was pregnant.
I read an article in a parenting magazine that recommended pregnant employees tell their bosses about the pregnancy as a “courtesy, so they don’t hear the news around the water cooler and feel blindsided.”
I have to say, I took a slight offense to the tone of the article. It seemed to me that it was implying that pregnancy was indeed a negative event that needed “confessing.”
On the other hand, I recognized that however my boss would view my pregnancy, the fact is that my pregnancy meant I would be taking some time off and that would need to be addressed. The question of whether or not it is “rude” to keep mum before my bump became known was an entirely different issue.
In the end, after word had gotten out about my pregnancy and I was starting to show, I popped into her office and casually mentioned my pregnancy. In my mind, she didn’t “deserve” to know, but because my co-workers knew, I made a point to let her know, albeit in a nonchalant way.
When it comes to discussing your pregnancy at work, you are in charge; The Pregnancy Discrimination Act makes it pretty clear that you can’t be discriminated at work because of your pregnancy, so you can let your boss know in a way that makes you the most comfortable.
Regardless of how and when you decide to tell your boss that you’re pregnant, you will eventually have to discuss maternity leave. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) ensures that pregnant women are entitled by law to take up to twelve weeks of maternity leave. Generally, if you are a full-time worker, at least six weeks will be paid, while the rest can vary on your organization’s policies and/or your saved paid time off.
If you happen to be a part-time worker like myself, or work for a company that doesn’t have at least fifteen employees, you’re on your own when it comes to maternity leave. I saved up as much as I could before the baby was born and took off as much time as I could afford afterwards.
When did you tell your boss that you were pregnant?
Photo credit: Flickr/Vivian Chen