Would you tell a prospective employer that you are pregnant? - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-09-2010, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am 11+ weeks pregnant and am looking for an easy, part-time job (like retail or something like that).  I am a nurse by trade but do not want to work in that field anymore and am not ready to start a "real" career search just yet.  We could use a few extra dollars so I thought I would try the stores by my house and see what happens.

 

At what point would you tell a prospective employer that you are pregnant?  Yes, I understand that legally they cannot discriminate against me because of it but I have worked retail management and I know there are a lot of ways to get around the legalities of something like this.

 

Would you tell at the interview?  When/if they call to make an offer? Or would you wait and not say anything until you were showing?


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Old 12-09-2010, 01:50 PM
 
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I would not say anything.  Once you are hired and been there a while, you could just call up HR and see what you need to do to take a leave of absence while you have the baby.  If you were showing, you would need to address it, but otherwise, I would keep it quite.


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Old 12-09-2010, 02:07 PM
 
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I vote for option 3, not until you're showing.  If you're planning to work during your pregnancy there's really no need for them to know sooner and it opens the door for discrimination.

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Old 12-09-2010, 03:03 PM
 
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Since it's a part-time job in an area where you're not looking to have a career, I personally wouldn't tell them at all.  It doesn't seem that where you're looking to work will have a high cost of training in getting an employee up to speed.  And, I see you're in the US and while I don't know all of the rules there, if you only get a 6 week leave I'm pretty sure they could cover you off.


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Old 12-09-2010, 03:47 PM
 
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I wouldn't say a thing, no. Even employees covered under FMLA (for those of us in the states) only technically have to give 30 days notice of an impending leave. Since your prospective ERs wouldn't have to accommodate you in that way (as a new employee, you wouldn't qualify regardless of the company size) it's no one's business but your own that you're expecting. And yes, working in HR, I've seen a LOT of discrimination against women due to pregnancies or possible pregnancies. Let them think you're getting a cute pot belly.

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Old 12-09-2010, 04:11 PM
 
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You don't have to say anything, even if you are showing, and they can't ask you.

 

I worked for a company when I got pregnant, that tended to lay people off often due to poor management and budgeting skills.

They love to lay off the pregnant people.  I kept my pregnancy very hush hush until it was very obvious. 

Unless you're doing work that shouldn't be done by pregnant women (working x rays or something) then I would not mention it.

 

I've actually gone on interviews where they have asked me if I had kids or what my family plans were.  How rude (and illegal?).


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Old 12-10-2010, 02:03 AM
 
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I would tell them probably either at the interview or when they called back. Personally, I want it up front so that if I need extra time off or to rest or can't lift bags of dog food they don't give me the axe for being lazy and hopefully instead understand that you are pregnant and caring for your health and that of your baby.

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Old 12-10-2010, 06:46 AM
 
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yet another vote for not saying anything until you are showing (and only then, not until it's so obvious that it's kinda silly for you to NOT say something.)

 

It opens the door for potential discrimination (even though such discrimination is illegal - yeah, it still happens!) AND it's none of their business anyway.

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Old 12-10-2010, 02:47 PM
 
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I was in this same position when pregnant with my first.  I was about 3 months along and not showing.  I chose not to say anything until I began to show around 5 months.  My supervisor was very supportive, but my coworkers did not take it well at all and made my life hell.  Surprisingly they were all women!   I think If I would have said something soon after being hired it would have gone over better with my coworkers. 

 

That being said, I don't know that I would have done anything different.  Maybe I would have said something to my supervisor right away after I was hired, but definately not at the interview.  As pp said, it is too easy to discriminate. 


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Old 12-10-2010, 04:12 PM
 
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Don't tell.  You might as well not bother applying otherwise, I think.  If it's a job that requires long-term commitment and a clear investment from the company (esp. if it's a small / family business) it's a different story.  But a job in retail is much more 'transactional' and there's a high turnover anyway.  Just make sure to wear the right clothes ;-)

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Old 12-10-2010, 04:49 PM
 
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When I worked as an assistant manager at Walgreens, the store manager hired a woman who didn't mention it and when she told them after she was hired, my store manager was really offended she didn't mention it. One, because she was being hired to replace a woman who was going on maternity leave right around the same time and two because it really started the working relationship off on the wrong foot. Would she have been hired if she had told? Probably not but mainly because we were already losing one person due to pregnancy and needed a worker who would be there to replace her and ont suffering from the same issue. As it was, she ended up being put on bed rest by the 3rd trimester and we were left understaffed, again.

So, if I were you, I would tell. Telling later sets a bad tone for your employment.


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Old 12-10-2010, 06:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geist View Post

When I worked as an assistant manager at Walgreens, the store manager hired a woman who didn't mention it and when she told them after she was hired, my store manager was really offended she didn't mention it. One, because she was being hired to replace a woman who was going on maternity leave right around the same time and two because it really started the working relationship off on the wrong foot. Would she have been hired if she had told? Probably not but mainly because we were already losing one person due to pregnancy and needed a worker who would be there to replace her and ont suffering from the same issue. As it was, she ended up being put on bed rest by the 3rd trimester and we were left understaffed, again.

So, if I were you, I would tell. Telling later sets a bad tone for your employment.


But see, not hiring the woman would be discrimination.  Yeah, it sucks that you guys were understaffed and it would have been nice to know beforehand, but not giving her the job because of her pregnancy is illegal.  Would you expect every medical condition that someone could take leave for to be disclosed?  No.  Why would pregnancy be any different?

 

 


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Old 12-10-2010, 06:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Climbergirl View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Geist View Post

When I worked as an assistant manager at Walgreens, the store manager hired a woman who didn't mention it and when she told them after she was hired, my store manager was really offended she didn't mention it. One, because she was being hired to replace a woman who was going on maternity leave right around the same time and two because it really started the working relationship off on the wrong foot. Would she have been hired if she had told? Probably not but mainly because we were already losing one person due to pregnancy and needed a worker who would be there to replace her and ont suffering from the same issue. As it was, she ended up being put on bed rest by the 3rd trimester and we were left understaffed, again.

So, if I were you, I would tell. Telling later sets a bad tone for your employment.


But see, not hiring the woman would be discrimination.  Yeah, it sucks that you guys were understaffed and it would have been nice to know beforehand, but not giving her the job because of her pregnancy is illegal.  Would you expect every medical condition that someone could take leave for to be disclosed?  No.  Why would pregnancy be any different?

 

 



Like I said, I'm not sure if she wouldn't have been hired, but probably not simply because we were looking someone to replace a pregnant employee. Hiriing another pregnant employee wouldn't accomplish that. the store manager did also hire someone who coming on told her she had various problems, like a pacemaker that would limit her abilities and that was fine in the beginning but it started becoming, "I can't lift anything, I can't stand on my feet, I can't ring a register more than 15 min." she had to be let go because she couldn't do the basic tasks required of a retail job. Everyone discriminates when hiring, just not all reasons for discriminating are legally protected. The store manager we had after the first one discriminated based on age and refused to hire anyone under 18 because he didn't want to have to deal with child labor laws and all that hassle. Technically, that's illegal, too, but it still happens.

 

What I'm saying is you should be honest with your future employer because hiring and training people does cost money and, more importantly, time. It's frustrating to get someone all trained up and then lose them unexpectedly because they weren't upfront with you in the beginning.


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Old 12-10-2010, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OP here.  I think that Walgreens story kind of hits the nail on the head here.  I hate to say this because it sounds really snarky, but I need a little income and can't say I really care about something long term.  I hesitate to say anything about being pregnant because if I can just get hired somewhere for a few months that would be ideal.  I am not planning on continuing to work once the baby is here so they would not loose anything from me as far as maternity leave goes.  And, really, I have worked lots of cash registers and training me would probably last about and hour in any retail setting.

 

I may just go back to the hospital and try to work a few registry shifts in the float pool.  I really don't want to do that kind of work anymore and don't want to be constantly exposed to the germs and chemicals in the hospital but it might be the only thing out there that would work temporarily.  


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Old 12-11-2010, 12:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geist View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Climbergirl View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Geist View Post

When I worked as an assistant manager at Walgreens, the store manager hired a woman who didn't mention it and when she told them after she was hired, my store manager was really offended she didn't mention it. One, because she was being hired to replace a woman who was going on maternity leave right around the same time and two because it really started the working relationship off on the wrong foot. Would she have been hired if she had told? Probably not but mainly because we were already losing one person due to pregnancy and needed a worker who would be there to replace her and ont suffering from the same issue. As it was, she ended up being put on bed rest by the 3rd trimester and we were left understaffed, again.

So, if I were you, I would tell. Telling later sets a bad tone for your employment.


But see, not hiring the woman would be discrimination.  Yeah, it sucks that you guys were understaffed and it would have been nice to know beforehand, but not giving her the job because of her pregnancy is illegal.  Would you expect every medical condition that someone could take leave for to be disclosed?  No.  Why would pregnancy be any different?

 

 



Like I said, I'm not sure if she wouldn't have been hired, but probably not simply because we were looking someone to replace a pregnant employee. Hiriing another pregnant employee wouldn't accomplish that. the store manager did also hire someone who coming on told her she had various problems, like a pacemaker that would limit her abilities and that was fine in the beginning but it started becoming, "I can't lift anything, I can't stand on my feet, I can't ring a register more than 15 min." she had to be let go because she couldn't do the basic tasks required of a retail job. Everyone discriminates when hiring, just not all reasons for discriminating are legally protected. The store manager we had after the first one discriminated based on age and refused to hire anyone under 18 because he didn't want to have to deal with child labor laws and all that hassle. Technically, that's illegal, too, but it still happens.

 

What I'm saying is you should be honest with your future employer because hiring and training people does cost money and, more importantly, time. It's frustrating to get someone all trained up and then lose them unexpectedly because they weren't upfront with you in the beginning.



With all due respect, I truly am shocked to hear anyone defend discrimination in the workplace. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is part of the Civil Rights Act, and advocating violating a literal civil right out of convenience for the employer is abhorrent IMO. 

 

OP- no, no, no! Don't say anything. It is NOT your responsibility and, frankly, I don't see the benefit if you are not looking for long term work. Also, apply SOON. I'm in a similar position, I have extensive education and professional training, but I'm not interested in pursuing the field I'm trained in right now, so I applied for a bunch of lower-level positions to pick up some much-needed cash- daycares and retail mostly. I was in my first tri, but, since i'm pg with twins, I was showing by the time interviews rolled around. I interviewed for eight jobs before I gave up. I have both retail and daycare experience, plus I was willing to work third and night shift. I'm certain I didn't get hired bc of the belly. 

 

Also, I know it is illegal, but you might consider coming up with an evasive answer to the question that a pp was talking about- the seemingly innocent "so...how many kids do you have? Do you want more?" bc, although it is for sure illegal to ask, I got asked that at at least half the interviews (bc to answer that I either had to lie or 'fess up, yk? and to say "you can't ask me that" is pretty much aggressive and an obvious answer)

 

g/l


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Old 12-11-2010, 12:17 AM
 
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I interviewed for a (retail-like, non-carreer) job when I was about 2 months pregnant, essentially had the job and they were talking about hours and details with me, told them I was pregnant, and conversation turned to "we'll call you" (when hell freezes over - implied).  Do not tell them until you are showing if you want to be hired.  I thought I was safe when I told them, but nothing was in writing yet.

 

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Old 12-11-2010, 12:41 AM
 
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I would not say anything unless you have to.  Last time I was pregnant, I was asked if there was any reason I couldn't commit to being there 6 months.  I answered honestly, but they still hired me.


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Old 12-11-2010, 01:04 AM
 
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Weliveintheforest, that is one way of getting around the pregnancy question! Very clever on the side of an employer.

 

OP, I am with the others - don't say anything. In the majority of cases, telling potential employers about your pregnancy would not result in you getting a job. You might be better off staying home and not doing any interviews. Yes, not being upfront might make you feel bad, but you are not actually doing anything wrong.


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Old 12-13-2010, 03:13 PM
 
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I agree with Babygrey.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Geist View Post
Technically, that's illegal, too, but it still happens.

 

What I'm saying is you should be honest with your future employer because hiring and training people does cost money and, more importantly, time. It's frustrating to get someone all trained up and then lose them unexpectedly because they weren't upfront with you in the beginning.


LOL, I find this to be such a weird view. You are essentially saying, "Yes, if you tell, you open yourself up to illegal discrimination, but I still think you should tell anyway because then the employer can do the illegal thing so that they are not inconvenienced." Um, huh??

 

Sorry, but I don't have any sympathy for the employer. Those are the risks you take in hiring people. That is doing business in the US. What about those who have kids?!? Lots of employers don't want to hire women with kids because they sometimes have to take off for sicknesses & such, or may be less likely to stay over & do overtime (or work longer hours if salaried.) So should we disclose whether or not we have kids (even though, again, it's illegal to discriminate based on that too - illegal to ask that Q as a PP noted.)

 

What an employer & employee "owe" one another is rather limited... an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. That's about it. They don't owe you a career path, they don't owe you advanced-notice if they're going to lay you off or fire you. It's POLITE & considerate to give 2 weeks' notice if you're going to resign, but that's not legally required either.

 

Notions of some sort of consideration, like you might give a personal friend, strike me as bizarre & don't belong as part of employment issue.

 

Incidentally, the manager in question had no right to be upset & I think it's incredibly unprofessional of her to have stated so openly that she was upset and to have acted as though the new PG employee "wronged" her & the business. WAY unprofessional reaction - the manager is the one in the wrong & the one acting unprofessionally, NOT the PG new employee.

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