Having a baby is a beautiful and exciting time in your life, but there are some challenges to navigate, especially when it comes to being a working mom.
Long-standing societal problems relating to pregnancy discrimination may have you feeling anxious about your future in your workplace, but it is important to remember that you are in control of when and how to announce your baby news.
Benefits of an early announcement
It is common practice to keep pregnancy quiet until after the first trimester, but depending on your position and specific duties, you may wish to share sooner rather than later. A few benefits of early communication include:
- Discussing your company’s policies in-depth with an HR representative
- Creating a paper trail and documenting any repercussions after your announcement
- Formulating a plan with your boss and coworkers for coverage during absences and parental leave
- Giving your employers time to make accommodations for your physical limitations during pregnancy
- Relieving your mental or emotional stress about coworkers discovering your secret
Common reasons for concern
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits unfair treatment of pregnant women in the workplace, but it does not force your boss and coworkers to be supportive. They may resent having to cover your shifts, or they may worry that you will not return after giving birth. You may face negative energy and attitudes that cause you to worry about your job security.
If you are afraid to tell your boss that you are expecting, it is important to learn about Washington state and federal laws protecting you from pregnancy discrimination and retaliation. You have the right and the ability to work while pregnant if you wish to do so, and you should not allow your employer or anyone else to make life-altering decisions about your future.