Should I disclose my pregnancy during the job interview process?
July 2, 2012 7:33 PM   Subscribe

What are my responsibilities when interviewing for a new job while pregnant? Should I tell them I'm expecting? If so, what should I be prepared for? I want to be ethical, but simultaneously am reluctant be at a disadvantage off the bat.

I am 4 months pregnant and not showing yet. I have been asked to come in and interview for a job for which I am well qualified. Should I disclose my pregnancy?

The job would start soon, and I am due in late December. I will take full maternity leave but come back. The job does not have a 'busy' season and is in a professional office setting.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I wouldn't disclose until there's an offer on the table.
posted by cooker girl at 7:38 PM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

You are under no obligation to disclose, and I would absolutely not do so.

They're not legally allowed to discriminate, but that doesn't mean it might not influence their decision.
posted by corb at 7:40 PM on July 2, 2012 [19 favorites]

They can't ask and you won't tell them until after you're hired. Your pregnancy should not enter into their hiring decision at all.
posted by inturnaround at 7:40 PM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

Never. Never. Never.

You can't predict the future. Keep all your options open.

Best of luck with both the job and the baby!
posted by amanda at 7:50 PM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

You are under no obligation to say anything, and I'd recommend you don't. I've been in the hiring decision position and honestly I can say this is the sort of thing I'd rather not know. You aren't legally allowed to take it into consideration in hiring, so the disclosure just makes things more complicated. In fact, unless there are state laws or employer policies that offer special additional benefit I believe you only need give 30 days notice before taking your maternity leave. Check that before relying on it, but the point is that you are months away from having any obligations to the employer in this regard. Get the job, then begin the process of negotiating what your leave will mean for training, work assignments, etc. on your own terms.
posted by meinvt at 7:51 PM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]

A little note that might be applicable to you (or maybe not): If you are in the United States (sorry if this is incorrect), the FMLA does not require maternity leave to be provided by your employer unless you have worked at your employer one year.

Also, businesses of less than 50 employees are not required to provide maternity leave.
posted by saeculorum at 8:03 PM on July 2, 2012 [9 favorites]

I will take full maternity leave but come back.

Saeculorum is correct. If you are in the USA, FMLA leave eligibility doesn't start until you have been in the job for 12 months, so you'll want to check very carefully whether the company's policies will grant you any maternity leave outside of FMLA.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:03 PM on July 2, 2012

Ugh! I wouldn't disclose if I were in your position, but my workplace was on the receiving end this deal a year ago, and my goodness what a headache it caused. And therefore the person hired into the position was not looked at kindly. Everyone could understand her position (they were all moms), but everyone still felt completely screwed over.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 8:10 PM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]

I agree with ThatCanadianGirl. You aren't under any legal or maybe even moral obligation to tell them, but you should be aware that you will be making life difficult for your new coworkers.

Now maybe them's just the breaks; if you need work you need work, and if you the only appropriate gig for you is a permanent one, then you'll do what you need to do. But in the best of all possible worlds you'd find work that was either short-term or that could accommodate a break relatively easily.
posted by alms at 8:21 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

I was in a similar position many years ago (i.e., 5 months pregnant/not showing with my now 23 yr old daughter). After the second round of interviews, I told the lead interviewer because it just seemed "right" to me, considering that I would be out of commission during a busy time of year for that organization.

He responded "I wish you hadn't told me that."

I now understand that I put him in a difficult position, i.e., gave him information that did, in fact, make me less desirable as a candidate, but that he couldn't legally take into consideration.
posted by she's not there at 8:50 PM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

What meinvt said. (I should have read more carefully before posting.)
posted by she's not there at 8:53 PM on July 2, 2012

Do not tell until you are hired. Yes, it will suck to inconvenience co-workers, but it would suck worse not to be able to find a job. What needs to happen is for businesses to come up with useful strategies so that people's colleagues aren't inconvenienced by their parental leave; it isn't your responsibility to fix that.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:41 PM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

It's protected for a reason. I wouldn't say anything -- though if you're switching jobs I'd be very careful to make sure you will get maternity leave wherever you wind up.
posted by gerryblog at 3:58 AM on July 3, 2012

« Older It's not a tumor, but this headache is going to...   |   Is this, like, trafficking? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.