Job Interviewing - Should I Disclose That I'm a Nursing Mom? - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-01-2012, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well Ladies, I've decided that it's time for me to make a career move. A little background on the job situation - my husband has been out of a permanent job due to being laid off for a year now. He's had pretty steady temp work during the last year, but he's recently become a SAHD so that I can go back to in-office work at my company in March (I've been working from home since my return from maternity leave in December).

 

We'd both like it for me to be the SAHP and him to work full time, but until a good opportunity comes along (he's still looking) I need to remain employed. And for a variety of reasons, I just can't stay with my current company. Even if I really wanted to, it wouldn't be wise for me not explore other options since there have been recent indications that the long term job security of my entire department might be in jeopardy.

 

So... I have a four month old son who's getting only breast milk. I pump three times during the work day. Should I disclose this in an interview? Or is this something that is best mentioned after being hired? It would seem to me, that in this economy with competition for jobs being so high that they could easily go with someone who doesn't need "special" accommodations. I know that technically they can't discriminate against me, but there's just such a glut of overqualified job seekers in the market right now - I could see myself getting passed by without a second thought. 

 

So what should I do?


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Old 02-01-2012, 08:23 PM
 
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I would say, no, don't disclose it during an interview.  You don't want them to think you are asking for special privileges, yk?  Even though you probably aren't asking if you can have a specific break to pump 3X a day, they might discriminate against you thinking you are.  It will work out just fine in the end, especially w/most office jobs. 

 

Also, it draws attention to the fact that you are a mom.  It's crappy, but some employers surely will pick a childless candidate over one with an infant. 

 

Best of luck finding a new job!


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Old 02-02-2012, 03:22 AM
 
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I wouldn't mention it during the interview.  I went back early (by Canadian standards) when my 1st was 3 mos, and I didn't even mention after being hired (although I'm sure I could have).  Also, consider that after 6 mos when your baby starts to eat some solid food, you may be able to gradually taper off the pumping.  This is a relatively short period of time to get through in the big scheme of things.  You might not even be hired before the point baby is nursing a little less frequently and you don't need to pump so often.


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Old 02-02-2012, 04:57 AM
 
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Don't mention anything about babies until you've been hired and given a desk. On your official first day, talk to people, and ask around.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:34 AM
 
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Yeah, but what if you find out there is no place for you to pump? 

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Old 02-02-2012, 10:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

Yeah, but what if you find out there is no place for you to pump? 


Then you ask someone else.

 

I've always worked for men. Men who were kinda clueless and uncomfortable with the topic of breast feeding dispute all having kids of their own. Sometimes I got a no and a brush off so they didn't have to feel like they were discussing my breasts. Usually, I asked HR or another woman in the department and found out where I could pump. If there wasn't someplace already a place was usually found.

 

I go in with the assumption that a solution can be found and find that one usually does. I don't ask permission, instead I ask them how they intend to accommodate me. You would think that the first place I worked wasn't very family friends since their was no place to pump when I asked. The ladies in purchasing set me up in the file cabinet closet. It wasn't great but it worked. After my experience the company was quick to volunteer that that space could be used the minute a Mom returned from maternity leave. It actually turned out to be a very family friendly place. They just hadn't had a pumping Mom ask for a space and had to figure it out.

 

But I would not mention it at the interview. I would deal with it once you get there.


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Old 02-02-2012, 11:02 AM
 
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I agree.  I wouldn't mention it.  I know bf isn't a medical condition, but if you had a colostomy that needed attention or to take small walking breaks for health and it fits in to not affecting your job, then it's none of their business.

 

Not that I'm saying you should/have to hide it, but I would skip it at the interview.


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Old 02-02-2012, 11:08 AM
 
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I'd say not to mention it during the interview, but do expect them to accomidate afterwards.  I think there are even laws protecting your right to pump in most places at most jobs.  Especially if it's office work, people take breaks for a million things during the day -- you're just going to be using those breaks to pump. 

 

If you feel truely concerned about whether or not there will be a place to pump (e.g., a wherehouse job or something), you might want to ask offline... for example, one of the secretaries or another woman.  If you see a woman carrying a medela bag, ask her ;)

 

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Old 02-02-2012, 12:22 PM
 
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I got my current job almost 14 years ago while 7 months pregnant with what would ultimately be a 10lber.  I didn't mention it, and neither did they.  I wouldn't mention it.

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Old 02-02-2012, 03:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

Don't mention anything about babies until you've been hired and given a desk. On your official first day, talk to people, and ask around.


yeahthat.gif.  To all the reasons stated above.

 

Also, keep in mind that (most) employers are federally required to allow you to express milk at work, and provide a private, non-bathroom space for you to do it in. http://www.dol.gov/whd/nursingmothers/


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Old 02-02-2012, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the responses ladies! That's how was I leaning, and I'm going to keep quiet about it until I'm actually hired somewhere. :-) Now wish me luck - it's a lion's den out there!


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Old 02-02-2012, 10:32 PM
 
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Luck to you finding that works best for you and yours.  It's out there!

 

 

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Old 02-02-2012, 11:37 PM
 
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heck no, i would not mention that for sure. 1) it's an INTERVIEW, why would you possibly mention it during an INTERVIEW? 2) it just gives them a reason to eliminate you. a reason to not like you could be anything from "i don't like breastfeeding" to "why is she bringing this up?" to "obviously already seeking special treatment" or any other reason you can think of . 3) how long do you think you will breastfeed? if you're like me, it will be a long long time. so long in fact that you will eventually quit telling people about it at all, and keep it quiet, that you are infact nursing a toddler... a preschooler, or whatever.  and/or if you are like the majority of women i know, you will nurse for somewhere from 6 months to 1 year..; and then quit. in which case, WHY mention it at all during interviews, if it is unlikely that you will need special accommodations by summer (or whenever).

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Old 02-03-2012, 08:50 AM
 
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You'll totally get a new job don't worry.  Though I think you should bring some of your homemade desserts to your interview.  If I was doing your interview you'd be hired on the spot.  Qualifications mean nothing to me when there is food involved!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchensqueen View Post

Thanks for all the responses ladies! That's how was I leaning, and I'm going to keep quiet about it until I'm actually hired somewhere. :-) Now wish me luck - it's a lion's den out there!


By the way I just found out I wasn't getting a raise nor am I getting the Nacho bar I requested.   Things to keep in mind, do not put a whoopi cushion on your bosses chair...  Also filling his brief case with trash is looked down upon. 
 

 

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Old 02-03-2012, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

You'll totally get a new job don't worry.  Though I think you should bring some of your homemade desserts to your interview.  If I was doing your interview you'd be hired on the spot.  Qualifications mean nothing to me when there is food involved!
 


By the way I just found out I wasn't getting a raise nor am I getting the Nacho bar I requested.   Things to keep in mind, do not put a whoopi cushion on your bosses chair...  Also filling his brief case with trash is looked down upon. 


Heh - I totally should bring dessert to an interview! Who in their right mind could resist that? I've made a note to self to leave all whoopie cushions and trash stockpiles at home. ;-) 

 


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Old 02-03-2012, 08:11 PM
 
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Oh good, we wouldn't want you to not get the job!

 

Quote:
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Heh - I totally should bring dessert to an interview! Who in their right mind could resist that? I've made a note to self to leave all whoopie cushions and trash stockpiles at home. ;-) 

 



 

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Old 02-03-2012, 09:04 PM
 
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I recently had an interview for a new job and I told the interviewer that I was expecting in July -- because it would make a big difference to the travel schedule required for the position.  Maybe this was a bad move?  I got passed on to the next interview phase.  But when I told the second interviewer my time schedule (this time, it was a man), I was told that it just wouldn't work out. 

 

Sometimes these things can be very tricky.  Best of luck to you!


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Old 02-06-2012, 03:38 PM
 
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My sister was passed over for a job b/c she mentioned in the interview that she would need a space to pump.  The person who interviewed her actually told the head hunter that that was the reason she didn't get the job.  That woman is a lawsuit waiting to happen. *shakes head*


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Old 02-06-2012, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My sister was passed over for a job b/c she mentioned in the interview that she would need a space to pump.  The person who interviewed her actually told the head hunter that that was the reason she didn't get the job.  That woman is a lawsuit waiting to happen. *shakes head*


Yikes, the fact that they were ignorant of the law enough to mention is to the head hunter is pretty astounding... 

 


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Old 02-07-2012, 03:29 PM
 
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I wouldn't disclose it. It isn't any of their business, won't impact the quality of your work in any significant way, and will open you up to potential discrimination. Get the job, know your rights in your state, and then either ask for accomodation if you need it (i.e. a place to pump if you don't have a locked office door) or notifiy them that you don't need accomodation but that you do use your office to pump.

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Old 02-16-2012, 07:30 AM
 
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Most office jobs it isn't really an issue for them to accommodate, I too would ask after you are hired and act as if you expect to be accommodated and that it is no big deal (since it shouldn't be!) I would look around if you get to tour the place on your interview and have a suggestion or two in mind if you can too, that can help with someone who had never had to worry about providing a place for a breastfeeding woman to pump. Though it shouldn't matter, a lot of employers will discriminate based on anything like that, so best not to give them the chance to.

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