Searching/Interviewing While Pregnant- Help!

Updated on November 07, 2009
J.L. asks from Rochester, MI
5 answers

Hi. I have been looking for a job for several months and have a few potential interviews pending. I just found out that I am pregnant (5 weeks only). I know I will for sure keep looking for a job and go on interviews, but I have a nagging feeling that it is unethical to not tell them I am expecting. One other point- most of the jobs I am looking at involve hazardous materials (also my current job). I know that it is not legal for an interviewer to ask me about that and I have the right to be pregnant. Has anyone else been in this position.
I currently have a professional, full-time job and plan to return to work full time after Baby #2.

FYI- I understand the hazards of working with chemicals while pregnant, so please don't advise on that!.

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answers from Detroit on

There are so many things that can go wrong in the first trimester and you are VERY early along. I would not tell anyone you are interviewing with that you are preggers... But do ask them what precautions they take with pregnant employees in those positions since you are planning on having more children in the future (sooner than they think :-)... With your current employer I would also ask what the precautions are for a preggers employee in that position and what you need to do to fulfill those precautions since there is the "possibility" you may be or will be pregnant.

I would not make any announcements until after your 12 weeks along. (But then again... I am currently 13 weeks with my 4th child and we have never announced BEFORE the 12th week with any of them. We just told our kids last week... And there has been no history of loosing pregnancys neither myself or my family... Just precaution on our part.)

Typically a dr will not "confirm" your pregnancy until you are about 10 weeks. Then they can do an internal ultrasound and see and hear the heart beat to verify. (at least thats what my dr does)

Congrats and good luck with the job hunt!

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answers from Detroit on

Legally, there's no question that a potential employer cannot discriminate against pregnant females. Socially, there's no question that it does happen, and will continue to happen.

Being visibly pregnant will surely hurt your chances- as will asking many questions to clarify what their policies are. Being visibly pregnant and asking about leave, benefits, etc, will make things even worse. Sad but true.

If a prospective employer thinks he can invest in you - you could be golden, but he may feel betrayed by the fact that you will soon be on leave; and many times in a new job it takes longer than just a few months to get your job down completely depending on your field. This could be a loss of time for them as they have to do it for a temporary replacement while you are on leave.

I would suggest that as you currently have a job and are lucky to have it (as so many are suffering in this market), stay where you are and when the time is right - make your pregnancy announcement. If you are in good with this company, perhaps they can limit your exposure to whatever hazardous materials you are currently with. After the baby is born - then continue your search. I think it would be awful if you landed a new job only to find out that something required you to go on maternity leave early as a new company would be less forgiving in it - and you would not have the vacation time or FMLA (which is accrued time in many many cases.), either.
However - it is ultimately your decision.

(I have worked in HR/ Payroll... So, this is an issue to really consider for all involved.)

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answers from Detroit on

Hi J.,

I've never been in this position but wouldn't feel bad at all about not telling them,it is none of their business and since you plan to go back to work after the baby then it really doesn't affect them that much anyway. The only way I would see it mattering if the place has a policy to pull pregnant people off the hazardous material stuff and into a desk job or something while pregnant do to liability. Not sure if a place can even do that anyway. Good luck on the job search and the baby

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answers from Detroit on

I was 5 months pregnant with my second child when I interviewed and I didn't say a thing. I got hired and my boss didn't find out until we were on a plane to Kansas for training, and it wasn't because I told her yet so it was a bit embarrassing. She never forgave me for that she was a wicked person but legally she had no choice. I suggest keeping it quiet, especially because you are not so far along but also because I am a firm believer in keeping work and personal life separate, need to know basis only. Be proactive when it gets closer and assure your boss that you have put things in place for while you are gone. Legally they can't do anything after they hire you, so just wait until after you both have signed on the dotted line. You will now when the time is right to tell.



answers from Detroit on

I had a similar experience with my employment. I had actually been on my job for a while and I could not decide when to tell my employer. I was actually almost 5 months pregnant before I told my boss and I only mentioned it because people were starting to notice that I was pregnant. I had problems with past pregnancies, and I was terrified, so it was really difficult for me to say anything before I felt comfortable.
My only reason for telling would be more for my benefit than the employers. They only reason I could see speaking about it is because you know that you would have to take a maternity leave (maybe you would like 6 months to spend with the baby). I would just rather prepare them for that now so you would not have to deal with it later. Also, you are going to have prenatal appointments. What if you can get any appointments after work hours, so you may have to leave work early or come in later in the day. Also, what about the days you just don't feel up to working. I had plenty of those days during my first 4 months. My pregnancies were high risk so I actually saw my Dr. a lmost 3 times a month. And I could not get an appointment after 4:00 p.m.

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