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You Asked: Should I Tell Them I'm Pregnant?

You Asked: Should I Tell Them I'm Pregnant?

Dear Sugar,

Our whole department got laid-off last Thursday. I now need to find a job (in retail) right before the Holiday season and I am 16 weeks pregnant.

When interviewing for a job, when do I tell them I am pregnant? I have every intention of returning to work after maternity leave (thanks to our mortgage). I also know they cannot discriminate on people who are pregnant but I don't want to lie, so do I tell them when they make me an offer? Do I wait until after I have started the new job? Or during the interview when they ask me if I have any other questions, should I tell them then? — Knocked up Nancy

To see Dear Sugar's answer

Dear Knocked up Nancy,

Legally, you don't have to divulge that you are expecting, so the choice is ultimately up to you. Although you want to be honest, rest assured that not telling them doesn't make you a liar, it makes you realistic. Of course, potential employers aren't supposed to discriminate about pregnancy when deciding if they want to hire you, but let's be real here, I'm sure it's something they consider even if they aren't supposed to.

You sound like a very hard working woman who is going to be dedicated to the job, so if I were you, I would keep quiet. The holidays are the busiest time of the year in the retail business so if you're able to perform all your job responsibilities and tasks at that time, I say take the job and wait until you're one hundred percent comfortable before telling them about your pregnancy. Good luck to you!


Join The Conversation
remedios remedios 9 years
I'm with everyone else - don't bother mentioning it. It's not like it's really their business at this point anyway, regardless.
minaminamina minaminamina 9 years
Agree with everyone else - don't tell them! Trying to find a retail job while pregnant is like having the name "Shaniqua Brown" on an application... they are legally supposed to ignore something like that, but let's get real... most employers won't. Wait till after you're hired - best of luck!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
they could also let you go with "no explanation"
Jennifer777 Jennifer777 9 years
You are not legally responsible for telling them and they cannot legally ask you if you are. Here are some tips for interviewing while pregnant: Good luck!
hotstuff hotstuff 9 years
Don't tell them!!! It is illegal for them to even ask you if you are pregnant and about your family regarding husband and kids! Even though you will run into clueless employers who ask anyway. It isn't fair and rest assured they will hire someone with no kids and no husband in a heartbeat over someone with a lot more responsibilites! Companies will use this against you. You are not obligated to tell! Good Luck!
looseseal looseseal 9 years
You might also want to consider that with some small businesses, the money they stand to lose with maternity leave (which they may be ill prepared to deal with after just months of hiring a new employee) can mean the difference between breaking even and a failed business. So even just considering self-interest, don't lie to a small business. It doesn't help you a lot, anyway, if the business folds while you're away and you have nothing to go back to work to. Are there any laws about how much advance notice an employee has to give the employer about an upcoming maternity leave? I have no idea, but there probably has to be some kind of advance notice? Does it just vary by each company's contracts or are there actual laws? Might be something you need to find out to make sure your bases are covered.
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 9 years
I agree with Dear and the majority of comments. Keep mum about the pregnancy and show that you care about being a good worker. It should be enough to get you hired and I'm sure in time they'll recognize your pregnancy and be respectful. You're not lying about it because you're not mentioning it to them, and besides they would be breaking the law for asking if you were pregnant!
nikodarling nikodarling 9 years
I'd say keep quiet for now. Just because its illegal to discriminate doesn't mean much because people still do it all the time. If you are a good employee they'll see that and respect you. Once you choose to let them know you are pregnant and plan to return hopefully they'll realize that you are a valuable asset and try to accomodate you. I suppose it only really becomes a concern if they are asking you to lift heavy objects or work around potentially dangerous materials. Good Luck!
PrincessTracy PrincessTracy 9 years
Don't tell...laws or not, they're most likely not going to hire a pregnant woman and they can always say someone else was more qualified.... Keep it to yourself for as long as you can, it's your business not theirs!
dragonbaby dragonbaby 9 years
It is none of their business as long as your pregnancy does not interfere with your job.
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
Keep it quiet! There is no need to be open and honest with your employer if you are doing retail. They probably WOULD discriminate and quite frankly you need to do what is best for you and your unborn baby (i.e. working). Though good job on not treating pregnancy like a disease or something like some women do. I had a friend who went "on sick" with her pregnancy at 4 months.. despite there being no complications and a healthy baby being born !! She stayed "on sick" for another 6 after that!!!!! Urgh.. So yes, don't tell them! =)
Danigirl77 Danigirl77 9 years
oooohhhh I just noticed.... I went gold!!!!! yeah!!!
Danigirl77 Danigirl77 9 years
Keep it quiet!!!!! Your not lying... just trying to get a job. Seriously they are not supposed to discriminate... but if it comes down to you and a person who isn't pregnant.... with the same qualifications. I put my money on the non-pregnant person. Because at the end of you nine months you need maternity leave. And that is money to the employer. I went through this..... actually when I was pregnant with my daughter. I chose not to tell. God luck with the job hunt.....
facin8me facin8me 9 years
Keep it quiet. There's no need to mention it. You're not lying by not telling them.
onesong onesong 9 years
I would keep it quiet--a lot of women don't share the news of their pregnancy until they're very far along for a vaeriety of reasons. If they do say something to you when you finally tell them, simply state that you wanted to wait until you were far enough along to share the news with anyone. The end. Good luck in your job search!
Greggie Greggie 9 years
Another thing to keep in mind is their contract policy - our state contract requires paperwork on file predicting maternity leave by 20 weeks in order to set up for a temp hire with time to train.
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
If you are only 16 weeks in, then your pregnancy shouldn't affect your work hours, especially during the holidays. Hopefully the entire pregnancy will be smooth and by the time you need to ask for maternity leave, they will appreciate you as a hard worker and valuable employee and will accomodate your needs & requests! I say say keep it quiet to the bosses until they ask.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
This is a tough one for me. When it comes down to it, morally and legally, I believe you have no obligation to tell them. But I also think it can be unfair to not warn a company upon interviewing that you will have an extended leave of some kind. It may be very important to the job that someone be in that position for a full year without needing someone to cover who can't do it as well. I am the type that would probably tell. But I don't think you have to, or that you're automatically in the wrong if you choose not to do so.
Cymone Cymone 9 years
I would definitely not tell them. My aunt could not find a job while she was preggers until one day she wore a loose top and just didn't say anything.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
Agree with others. No need to mention it.
7kimba7 7kimba7 9 years
I would also wait. My coworker waited until she was showing to tell HR (and yes, she was pregnant when she was hired).
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 9 years
I say keep it quiet. I landed a job and waited until I heard, "You got the job," before I told them I was pregnant. Unfortunately, that job didn't work out for me, but at least they didn't have the chance to discriminate by bringing in someone else. Two can play THAT game!!!
blingbling blingbling 9 years
that's a good one. Technically it's against the law for them to discriminate against you if you're pregnant - but they might find someone else who "fills the requirement" and you'd have no way to really prove it. I think I'd keep it quiet - but I'm sure someone here will have the proper "etiquette" for this situation.
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