You can’t always time your hunt for a new job — which means it’s possible that you could be pregnant while you’re sending out resumes and interviewing. Many women in your position worry that their pregnancy is going to have an impact on their ability to find work — and pregnancy discrimination is a real issue.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act makes it illegal for an employer to refuse to hire you on the basis of your pregnancy, and it offers a variety of additional protections. It’s imperative that any woman who’s searching for a job while she’s pregnant remember these important points.
Do you have to disclose your pregnancy during the interview?
No. One of the protections afforded by the PDA is the right to keep your pregnancy to yourself during the hiring process — and for as long as you feel necessary afterward.
Should you disclose your pregnancy anyhow? Maybe. Some employers will respect you more if you tell them that you’re pregnant during the interview process. It might help if you can relay how you plan to have your duties covered while you’re gone on maternity leave. On the other hand, the information could put you on the bottom of the heap when it comes time to make a hiring decision.
When do you need to discuss maternity leave?
Just like your pregnancy, this isn’t something you have to address while interviewing unless you’re comfortable doing so.
Some employers worry about hiring a pregnant woman because they wonder how long they have before she goes on maternity leave and how long she will be gone. If possible, consider those timing questions ahead of time so you can let them know. If you’ve already calculated how long you have before you’re likely going to take maternity leave and how long you plan on remaining out of the office, you’re showing that you’re prepared and thinking toward your future with the company.
Victims of pregnancy discrimination have legal rights. They should keep a record of the acts that were discriminatory so they can discuss those with the appropriate parties. Taking swift action is necessary since time limits apply to cases involving this type of discrimination.