Can You Get Hired While You’re Pregnant?
Can You Get Hired While Pregnant?
According to the Winston-Salem Journal, a North Carolina House bill has recently been introduced that would make it illegal for employers to fire or refuse to hire a woman because she is pregnant. It also outlines that employers would need to make certain accommodations for pregnant workers, such as providing a place to sit, temporary transfers to less hazardous/strenuous work, more flexible work hours, and longer breaks. This all sounds good, but the thing that blows my mind is how this is just now becoming law!
Pregnancy discrimination is supposed to be illegal, but the fact that laws like this are just now going on the books in certain states (and that pregnancy discrimination in the case of getting hired can be hard to prove) make it necessary for all women to arm themselves with the knowledge of their rights before they start any job search.
First off, no employer has the right to ask whether you’re pregnant, married, have a family, or want to have a family during a job interview. If a recruiter does ask, you should not feel obligated to offer any information, but I understand how it can be tricky to respond. I’d suggest saying something like, “I’d like to keep this conversation focused on my professional abilities and what I can bring to the team.” You know I love celebrating pregnancy in every venue possible, but when it comes to a potential job, the risk of being cast aside because of an impending (and possibly for them, expensive) maternity leave is sadly all too real.
If you are on the job hunt and your bump is well, very obvious, there’s still no need to focus on your pregnancy or even mention it unless it does come up (which is still illegal, but it’s more likely to happen with a visible bump). If it does come up, obviously don’t deny it, but try saying something like, “I am expecting, and have a full plan in place as to how I’ll continue to thrive and grow in my career. I have a lot that I can bring to your team and would prefer to remain focused on that for now!”
The fact is that it’s almost always easier to find a new job when you’re not pregnant, but that pregnant women get hired all the time—and you could be one of them. Just keep the conversation squarely focused on your brain, not your bump.
Have you tried to get hired when you were pregnant? Ever been asked inappropriate questions about your personal life during an interview? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
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