You’ve gotten the news from the Doctor, had your sonogram and worked on processing the news yourself and with your family and loved ones. Now, how do you tell your boss you are pregnant?
Know Your Rights
Your first step should be to know how you are protected, both in your individual workplace and by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Dig out your employee handbook and go through it with a fine tooth comb, paying special attention to areas specifically mentioning pregnancy and/or disability. Federal protection is offered by the The Pregnancy Disability Act of 1978, a sub-section of the EEOC which specifically states that “discrimination based on pregnancy when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, such as leave and health insurance, and any other term or condition of employment” is not legal. Read into this Act fully, especially if you have complications or severe morning/day sickness during your pregnancy.
Avoid the Rumor Mill
First and foremost, talk to your boss and not your co-workers. We all know how offices work and news spreads like wildfire. Don’t tell the well meaning cubicle mate or even your work bestie until you have spoken to your boss. Likewise, do not post news or sonogram pictures on Facebook or other social media if there is even a sliver of a chance that your boss or co-workers might see the news.
Timing is Everything
When speaking with your boss, be sure it is in person and preferably at a scheduled meeting time. The exception to this would be if you are fairly certain that your boss will take the news badly and you need support. In this instance, a trusted member of the HR team can be told ahead of time and accompany you to this meeting. Most people do choose to inform the workplace of pregnancy once the risk of miscarriage has dramatically decreased, after the first trimester or into the second. You should also consider your current work environment, are you up for a review or a promotion? If so, possibly waiting until after that might help, especially if you are confident your review will be positive.
One of the best tips we can offer is to be upbeat and positive! You are still the same loyal worker you always have been, and you are as prepared for this scenario as you possibly can be. Go into the meeting with your due date and maternity leave plans available for your boss to review. Do you plan to take time off before your due date, how about how much time off after? If you are in a supervisory position, do you have ideas on how your work can be accomplished while you are gone and how a transition period can be handled? Confidence is key to acing this conversation.
Ultimately, you are protected legally from discrimination during your pregnancy. However, you want to make your pregnancy as worry and stress free as possible. Having the support of your supervisors and co-workers can go a long way in accomplishing this goal.
Now that the uneasy task of informing your boss of your pregnancy has been accomplished, check out our Topics Page at NewbornCourse.com for some exciting and fun information regarding your pregnancy!