22 answers

When Do You Tell a Prospective Employer That You Are Pregnant? - Downers Grove,IL

I am 12 weeks pregnant, have my 2nd interview for a possible new job this afternoon. Do I tell them in this interview, or wait until I get an offer? I don't want to be dishonest, but it may affect their decision to know that I will be out for 8 weeks not too long into the job. What is the right thing to do?

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So What Happened?™

Thank you to everyone for your responses! I decided to tell them at the 2nd interview about my pregnancy. My thinking was that if it made a difference to them, that it wasn't the right job for me. When I told them, they said "Congratulations" and "No problem, we'll work around it". I have been offered the position. I have not accepted yet, because I am waiting to hear the cost for insurance and if there is a waiting period to be eligible for the insurance. If there is, it may cause a problem, since Cobra is $1400 per month! Anyway, I went with the complete honesty view, and am glad that I did. It was the right thing to do in my situation. Thanks again to everyone!

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I am also a supervisor and while honesty is the best policy, you do not have to reveal personal information in an interview, nor can a company ask. However, they can ask you if there is anything that might prevent you from performing the job responsibilities. If the pregnancy would prevent you from doing the job, you should reveal it. If not, I would wait until after you have been offered the job. They can't go back on their offer because you tell them you're pregnant.

2 moms found this helpful

I'm a supervisor for my department and if i was looking for a prospective employee i would want all honesty. Some places in some states require that you are on the job for more than 6 months before allowing fmla leave. And maternity leave falls under that category. So you have to look into that as well about that. Also, the more honest you are the more they will appreciate you. Even if they decided not to hire you. But they will keep you in their minds. And if you don't tell them, remember you have a 90 day probationary period you have to go through - telling them after you've been hired can lead you into unemployment. If think if you were about 6 weeks along it will definitely be a different scenario because it's easy to hide for another 10 weeks or so. But be very honest.

1 mom found this helpful

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I thnk that you should tell them when you are ready and not before. Most may not agree, but, I don't believe that it is any of their business. I know many people who were more than 3 months along before they felt comfortable or ready to share the news. I was almost 5 months before I told my employer and I took a 7 month leave of absence.

I don't believe fact that you are pregnant should be a considering factor in you getting the job. I guess if it were all women of child bearing age would be asked if she were pregnant on job interviews.LOL It's not about being dishonest. How much of or personal business are we having to put out. I think people are just going to far. I've even heard of employers checking the credit rating of potential using that to not hire them. They even go on facebook to see what type of pictures you have posted and who your friends are.
The way the economy is right now and seeing how hard it is to find a job in the first place I would not say anything.
Men don't have to go on job interviews and "bare their souls" why do we? don't we have to work and provide for our families just the same. Sorry to ramble but it makes me a little mad that women have to put up with so much.

2 moms found this helpful

I am also a supervisor and while honesty is the best policy, you do not have to reveal personal information in an interview, nor can a company ask. However, they can ask you if there is anything that might prevent you from performing the job responsibilities. If the pregnancy would prevent you from doing the job, you should reveal it. If not, I would wait until after you have been offered the job. They can't go back on their offer because you tell them you're pregnant.

2 moms found this helpful

I'm a supervisor for my department and if i was looking for a prospective employee i would want all honesty. Some places in some states require that you are on the job for more than 6 months before allowing fmla leave. And maternity leave falls under that category. So you have to look into that as well about that. Also, the more honest you are the more they will appreciate you. Even if they decided not to hire you. But they will keep you in their minds. And if you don't tell them, remember you have a 90 day probationary period you have to go through - telling them after you've been hired can lead you into unemployment. If think if you were about 6 weeks along it will definitely be a different scenario because it's easy to hide for another 10 weeks or so. But be very honest.

1 mom found this helpful

I've been in your situation. I am a lawyer so you would think lawyers would comply with the law. I did not tell them I was pregnant untilbafter I accepted the offer. It really isn't about honesty, it's your personal information and it's about survival. Judging by the way I was treated after I informed my employer I was pregnant, I'm sure I would not have Been offered the job had I told them earlier. You have a right to work and as long as you think you can "prove" yourself, or sustain that pressure, and believe in yourself, that you are a good worker and you are an asset to your employer, you should get through any adversity. It was very tough for me, I was treated very poorly and was targeted to be fired. It was difficult to cope with that right after having a baby and I became very depressed. It was in Chicago. Good luck to you.

1 mom found this helpful

how can people be on here advising you to lie? you realize you will have to see these people every day, if you get the job, right? be honest! the second interview is the perfect time to tell them. you know they're interested in you. i am in a company where we are in the middle of a huge overhaul, and one thing we are doing is "taking out the trash". if i had an employee right now that i knew had lied to me and her coworkers about something like this, it would speak volumes to their character, and when downsizing started, they'd be on the list, for sure. even a year or two later. no, i wouldn't fire you for being pregnant, but i wouldn't trust you either. but i guess it just all depends on the kind of person you are, and how you want your coworkers and employers to see you. i guess if you have zero self respect and are just out to make a few quick bucks, to heck with the future, then lie. if you want to be able to hold your head up at your new job, and look forward to a future of stability for your family, then woman up and do the RIGHT thing.

to be honest, if i was your prospective employer, i wouldn't want you on my team if you were going to keep something like this from me. that's the bottom line.

1 mom found this helpful

Don't tell them! You need an even playing field with the other candidates and if you do you'll never know if they would have given you the job otherwise. People are clever at coming up with other more legal reasons they did not hire someone. People who have been with an employer for some time don't always tell them this early, so I don't think it's a bad thing.
There's a reason prospective employers are not legally allowed to ask about that stuff during the interview process. Let's face it, in another situation, someone could get pregnant immediately after being hired and it wouldn't be that different which is why it used to be so difficult for women of child bearing age to get hired.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

It is illegal for an employer to ask you about marital or family status on an application or an interview. If you decide to volunteer this information, you have put your prospective employer in the awkward position of having information they are not entitled to, and not allowed to use in a decision (no matter how much they want to). Should they decide not to hire you, you have no way to prove it was related to your pregnancy (illegal) as they will give another reason. It also shows ignorance of the laws designed to protect you if you volunteer this info, which may not be looked highly upon.

For those who suggest it is dishonest, my guess is few have gone through professional interviews and understand the laws that are designed to prevent discrimination, or they are employers themselves who would like to circumvent those laws. This is your personal business, and legally, any prospective employers have no right whatsoever to knowledge of it until after you are hired. You may think it is noble or chivalrous or whatever to tell them, but don't kid yourself. Follow the law. It was designed to protect you.

1 mom found this helpful

The honest thing to do is to tell them. If you get hired and then tell them, it could possibly lead to a hostile work environment, and you don't need the stress while pregnant. I have interviewed and ben hired by places when I was expecting, and it was no big deal. I was always upfront about it. If you go in confident in your interview, it should not be an issue.
Good luck and congratulations!

1 mom found this helpful

Don't tell them. I don't think you will get the job if you do. It's not a matter of dishonesty at all. Good luck.

Just keep in mind that FMLA doesn't apply to you if you haven't been employed there for at least 12 months. This means that when you have the baby your job will not be protected. Legally, you don't have to tell them but I would.

HI S.,

Get the offer and then tell them at the offer and ask them if that changes anything. BUT don't get mad if they change their mind because of your circumstance. Employers are also afraid of lawsuits. Reassure them. This way they get the benefit of knowing everything about you and might want to hire you anyway. They may just think you're worth it!!!

M.

I would tell them in the interview. I agree with many of the previous posters that being honest is the best way to embark on a new job. Even though you are not required to do so I believe it says a lot about your character.

I was in the same situation and told my potential employer and did not get hired and am glad I didn't.

If it is the right fit it will work out. Good luck and congrats!

Here are my random thoughts.

My first response is to be honest. When you begin to show they will know that you were pregnant before you were hired. But I don't know, with today's labor laws if they would expect you to be honest. I suspect that you're not legally required to tell them.

For me it's important to be honest about things that will affect my relationship with co-workers and the company? Will you not having told them negatively affect your working relationship? Will having you gone for 8 weeks be a hardship for the company? Will they see you as looking out for yourself but not concerned for the business?

I don't think that they can not hire you because you are pregnant. But, then again, I don't think they have to tell you why they didn't hire you.

Is this a large company, in which those who interview now won't be involved in your working relationship within the company? Or is it a small company and these same interviewers will also be working with you? For me, I think I'd be more apt to tell them if the company is small and relationships among employees are more important. My concern would be that they would be upset that I didn't tell and so they wouldn't trust me and perhaps find a way to terminate me after the maternity leave.

Does a company have to grant maternity leave with a job to come back to no matter how long they've worked for the company?

It might help me be more specific if I knew what kind of a position you're applying for and how large of a company.

I would not feel that I needed to volunteer marital status, presence of children, or what happened at my last job, etc. because none of that would affect my work. But the need to take 8 weeks off a short time after beginning employment causes me to wonder if I should tell them. But now that I've thought this thru this far, I think I would not tell them unless it is a small company in which the employees come to feel a bit like family and the boss would feel that he'd been taken advantage of and find a way to terminate employment because of the hardship of an 8 wk leave.

Large companies can absorb leaves and in fact expect such things and so I might not tell in that case.

I wish you well. I had a similar experience with my previous employer. I found out I was pregnant after I had been there for a little over month. They were very good and even covered everything - even tho I guess they could have said pre-existing. I hope all goes well for you.

Don't tell until after your 90 days. And pregnancy is not a pre-existing condition. I started a new job when I was 10 weeks pregnant. I didn't tell them until after my "90 day trial period." I just assured them that I would return from a modest maternity leave. Which by the was was without pay because I was not eligible for maternity leave/short-term disability. And that is exactly what I did. People have to work to support a family. They get that. If you have a new baby, your are not likely looking to be unemployed. And I work for a very large law firm in Chicago.

Someone brought up the point that you may not qualify for FMLA at this new job, because you will not have been there for 12 months beforehand. This is a very good point, but is only relevant, if you are leaving an existing job for a new job and this new job is with a new company and not an internal transfer. If you are not currently working, you wouldn't be getting any FMLA benefits anyway.

In a perfect world, my advice would be to be honest about your situation. You do not want to potentially cause negative feelings shortly after starting your job and then after returning from maternity leave.

However, if you are currently unemployed and not just leaving an old job for a new one, I'd put more weight on getting the job first and then working my a** off once I got it, which would include trying to schedule doctor's appointments on Saturdays or before or after work, not missing work, and really trying to go the extra mile before going on maternity leave. Would also make arrangements to check-in during your leave - on-line from home once a week, to ensure the company that you do intend on coming back to work, etc.

I wish the best of luck to you in getting the job!!

Hi S.,
I was in a simliar situation, but was 6 months pregnant. I know others have said not to 'lie', but when I was upfront about my pregnancy during an interview, I wasn't called back for a 2nd. The interviewer told me to never reveal that you're pregnant during an interview. It's illegal to fire someone for being pregnant, but there's nothing to prevent them from discriminating in a job interview. They'll just say you weren't a good fit.

On my next interview, I didn't 'lie', but didn't reveal I was pregnant. I needed insurance. My husband couldn't even buy insurance because I was pregnant and that was a pre-existing condition (if a father would have to put a baby on his plan, the insurance company wanted nothing to do with either). I had to protect my family, so I didn't mention the pregnancy until right after I got the offer.

Really, what's 6 or 8 weeks with unpaid leave to them? If you are dedicated before you deliver and after your short leave, it doesn't make a difference in the long run.

Also, 9 years after my first pregnancy, I found a new job and got pregnant 2 weeks after I started that job. Life doesn't run like a movie and it never will. Don't listen to people who tell you to be 'upfront'. You're not there to talk about babies or marriage or things you'd discuss at lunch with the ladies. If your job doesn't involve your personal life (which I'm sure it doesn't), then that topic doesn't belong in an interview.

My employers at both jobs weren't enthusiastic that I was pregnant so soon into my employment, but I did a good job and caught on quickly.

Do what's right for you, but I wouldn't reveal anything about your personal life at any point in the interview process. If you get the job, accept it and then inform them that you'll need to take off x number of unpaid leave in the fall or whenever. I qualified for short term disability after working in my job for only 6 weeks, but it was only a hundred dollars a week.

Good luck with your interview. If you want to chat offline, feel free to drop me a line.

The fact that you got pregnant without having a job was your choice. Why you would want to create a problem for someone else is beyond me. The employer has nothing to do with you getting pregnant. They just want the best possible employee who will work hard during the business hours they described to you. You are pregnant and know it, so there's no way you can be the best possible employee because you cannot fulfill your end of the deal by working the hours they are describing to you now.
And you know this.

Tell them as right away. While you're right that it may affect their decision, it is dishonest to withhold this information from them because one reason they may be offering it to you is because you can start right away. If they offer and you accept, then you tell them, they will have a very good reason not to trust you in the future. If you tell them and they want you, they'll work around it.
Basically, you know something isn't right with this, or you wouldn't be asking. Do what your heart tells you to do -- NOT your mind. Your heart will live easier without any added pressure of deceit.

By the way, Susan B's answer is totally selfish. Employers are hiring people to do a job. While your personal life in general has nothing to do with your job, this part of your personal life will most certainly affect your job so it should be disclosed. If you know you will not be able to do the job as requested, you should tell them. Anything else IS DISHONEST.

Keep it to yourself. They could possibly not hire you for that fact even though it is illegal to do so but good luck proving it.

S.

I am in the camp of get the offer and then disclose the information when you believe it's appropriate.

My company laid me off last year when they restructured the sales force. It was based upon the previous year's numbers. My territory was eliminated for poor performance - they didn't take into account that I was on Maternity leave from March-June, and then was diagnosed with cancer the week after returning from my leave and worked through 5 months of chemo.

Today, employers can be brutal. If the law doesn't require you to, and you don't have the personal conviction to need to tell them, I'd wait.

On the same note, I was very open and honest about my cancer when I was interviewing for a new job. However, I'm in the pharmaceutical industry, and it was relevant in explaining my poor 2008 performance as well as my ability to relate to patients with terminal/chronic illnesses.

Best wishes. In this economy, unfortunately, everyone has to protect themselves (including employers).

I think either way is fine, but if you do tell them assure them that this makes you that much more committed to the company for a long future as you need that income to support your families future now that you will have another dependant and college tuition to save up.

I don't think "right" or "wrong" applies here.

Don't tell them until you get the job. Don't tell them until your benefits kick in. Don't tell them until you've gotten your first pay check.

But even then, I think there is something called a "fire at will" period in effect for the first six months. You can be let go without just cause and you have no recourse (i.e. to sue for discrimination).

UPDATE: I just want to be clear...I am not advocating lying. I am advocating not telling private information that has no bearing on your ability to perform a job. When all employers suddenly become 100% ethical and non-discriminatory toward their employees and their clients...Then it will be reasonable to disclose senstive information. But since hell doesn't seem to be getting any chillier and since I haven't seem any pigs fly by...I don't think that will happen any time soon.

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