I was wondering any one out there has had difficulties with their employers since they have announced their pregnancy?
I am one of very very few women in my profession (the only female firefighter out of about 40 here on the district), I am a senior firefighter on a wildland firefighting Hotshot crew, and I am unable to preform some of my primary duties due to my pregnancy. I found out I was pregnant at the end of July and had already been on a few fires while pregnant. I am still capable of preforming many tasks I used to be able to, but I have to sit out when there is the possibility of inhaling mass amounts of smoke, watching how hard I work my body, and limiting weight I carry. I had to sit out from going on fires the rest of the season, and no matter how many times I tell supervisors I am capable of doing field work (I just need to watch myself) they seem to think the only thing I am capable of doing is answering phones and office work. I am one of few people in my office that is college educated and has capabilities of doing certain planning work, but I keep getting passed up for other non-qualified people to do that work. My supervisors here would rather me sit in the office all day, doing nothing, then get out of the office and do productive work. This has been a huge stress in my pregnancy, and I dread coming to work every day. Most recently I have been passed up on in a job vacancy at the office where I was more than qualified for, being told I did not show up on the hiring list, when I received an e-mail stating I was on the list. My husband (who is also a firefighter) and I recently bought a home, and we have all the baggage that is coming along with having to refinance, and rent out, or sell for a loss so we can seek employment other places and won't be working 800+ hours of overtime to be able to raise our new family. We have no family in the area, and where we live is so rural the closest day care is a half hour away.
I am afraid to go to HR about all my issues because I am afraid of retaliation, and being a person that has an issue and goes to HR may have trouble finding a job elsewhere when it comes to reference call. One of the only options we can think of is moving away, but finding a place to live that has daycare nearby, and a job opening for both of us is really hard. Has anyone else out there had employment issues in their pregnancy? Any advise?