Pregnant But Needing a Job
Here’s a recent question:
“Dan, I’m seven months pregnant and trying to change careers. I am a petite person; therefore, I can easily hide my current condition. I have an interview later this week; it is with a company that I strongly desire to work for. I want to be honest and disclose my pregnancy, but I’m afraid that if I convey this information, I will not receive an offer. My question is, ‘Am I required to provide this information and how do employers view pregnant applicants?’ Your response will be greatly appreciated.” Cindy
Great question. It has more to do with ethics and integrity than legality. While you do not have to legally disclose your pregnancy, to fail to do so at seven months would appear very deceptive immediately to any company. How they will evaluate that is hard to determine. Will your position require any physical labor? With many companies desperately seeking employees, they may be willing to work with you. But in general, your pregnancy will make you a questionable candidate right now. What do you intend to do when the baby comes? You obviously will need some time off. How would you propose that your job duties will be handled during that time? It would seem to make more sense to maybe do temp work until you are able to go back to work after the birth of your child.
Your only good option is to tell them you are pregnant – but then still make a case for why you are their best candidate. Be prepared to present creative ways to make it work to their advantage – and yours.
I once hired a gal, after interviewing several great candidates. She showed up the first morning for work and informed me she had just found out over the weekend that she was pregnant – after a long time of hoping for just that. She assumed I would want to hire one of the other applicants. Obviously she could have just started and worked for several months without me even knowing. But I appreciated her honesty and we talked about the baby’s arrival. I still believed she was the best person for the job. Her position was to head up product shipments – which she did with excellence. When her baby was born she just brought her along and continued to work as the only person in that area. She was a wonderful and valued employee for approximately 4 years.
Her honesty increased her value to me and my commitment to her. I suggest you do the same.