30

I read this question, but it’s about the non-pregnant partner.

A company reached out to me and is heavily recruiting me for a position that I know I'm qualified for. We're talking a $50,000 (USD) raise with this position and it would be HUGE for my career. My husband and I recently (this is the second month) started trying to get pregnant and there are no fertility issues that we are aware of… I could be pregnant right now!

I love my current job (I’ve been here nearly 5 years) but recognize that I don’t have much of a career path here. However, if the new company wasn’t recruiting me so heavily I wouldn’t even consider moving when trying to have a child, but here we are! I’m worried that if I do end up taking maternity leave within 8 to 9 months of starting that they would see me as dishonest for not bringing it up in the interview process.

My question is:

Should I tell the new company that I may be taking maternity leave within the first year of starting?

Again, this position would not only be an enormous monetary raise, but an enormous benefit to my career.

  • 22
    what is heavily recruiting me? – Sourav Ghosh Dec 9 '19 at 13:02
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    They reached out to me, I did not apply for the position. However they recognized that my skills are a perfect match for their position, and after the first two interviews they're essentially offering me anything I could want to make the move. Everything that I've said was a detractor to me accepting the position, they have resolved in some way including pay, time off, training/education stipend, etc. There is one further interview with the CTO that they want me to complete, but have made it clear that they want me. – Nick Dec 9 '19 at 13:05
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    I'm in the midwest United States and this is for a team lead position in IT. – Nick Dec 9 '19 at 13:09
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    Can you think of any "pros" to telling them you're trying to get pregnant? – dustytrash Dec 9 '19 at 14:19
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    @QuoraFeans that's obviously not what OP means, as she probably isn't even pregnant at all, much less heavily so. – Kat Dec 10 '19 at 4:59
65

In my opinion (not sure of the US law, IANAL), someone's pregnancy status has nothing to do with a new job or job application.

It's a part of human life - no one is going to mark you as dishonest for availing the maternity leave (assuming you are entitled1) when you need it. The organization you want to work for, should support you in your life events, too.

So, to answer:

My question is, should I tell the new company that I may be taking maternity leave within the first year of starting?

Not needed, at all.

You can inform them when time comes (usually informing about long leaves before 2-3 months is the norm, so the manager can have time to manage and delegate your work during the leave period).


Note 1: As mentioned in the comments, FMLA requires you to have worked there a full year first. So, check the company policies for your entitlement.

  • 18
    I agree. IIRC it is illegal for them to ask, and frankly it is none of their business. Congratulations on the offer to the OP, and hopefully you find yourself with child soon. – Pete B. Dec 9 '19 at 14:29
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    @PeteB. And generally in the US, if it's illegal for them to ask then it's almost definitely illegal for them to make decisions based on it, so a competent HR department won't want to hear it from you (and might take you out of the running at that point, not for attempting to get pregnant, but for telling them about it) – Delioth Dec 9 '19 at 22:35
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    Please copy the comment from BMSP. FMLA only kicks in after one year in the US!!!!!!!!! – Stephan Branczyk Dec 10 '19 at 3:22
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    Just to clarify. "The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) is a United States labor law requiring covered employers to provide employees with job-protected and unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons." In other words, if the OP wants to have her job be there when she comes back from unpaid medical leave, she'll need to delay her pregnancy by three months until after the job change, or delay the job change indefinitely. And yes, you read that right, this is the US after all, it's unpaid medical leave for most people after they've run out of accrued paid vacation/sick days. – Stephan Branczyk Dec 10 '19 at 9:44
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    @o0'. How is that? The direct answer is: no need to inform. This is because the organisation possibly cannot do anything meaningful with that information. – Sourav Ghosh Dec 10 '19 at 11:42
30

In the United States they can't ask, even if you are visibly pregnant.

But since you aren't pregnant there is zero reason to tell them your plans.

You will not be dishonest by keeping this private, even if it turns out you are already pregnant.

One thing to consider before deciding to switch companies, understand what leave you have with your current company and what you will have with the new company. You have to understand their PTO policies, and their carryover rules. If you have 3 weeks in the leave bank now, but will only be able to get to that level after more than a year with the new company, that might be something to consider. Though without knowing how much time you have before the due date, it will make this hard to plan.

If you are the source of insurance policy look into what happens if you have to go on unpaid leave.

12

Interesting situation.

There is no need to tell them you’re trying to get pregnant. It’s your right to try, and their risk if it happens.

To consider: what will your current company do if you get pregnant? Will you get maternity leave, get your job back when you return to work? Same at the new place?

The new job seems an excellent opportunity even if it’s only for eight months. You might consider waiting a bit trying to get pregnant so it happens say two years after you start, if you feel you are cheating them otherwise. And if you’re pregnant now - that’s life. Happens to people who are not trying at all.

Summary: Don’t worry about being dishonest, you’re not. Don’t worry much about being seen as dishonest. And do what’s best for you and your family.

PS. In many countries asking whether you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant is illegal. In some countries it is perfectly legal to lie when asked an illegal question, and such a lie cannot be held against you.

PS. I thought something was missing here, and I figured it out: You never know what the future brings. Your plan is to get pregnant quickly. But that's just a plan, there is no guarantee. I hope it doesn't happen, but it might take much longer than planned to get pregnant, and meanwhile you will at least have a better job.

  • Please copy the comment from BMSP. FMLA only kicks in after one year in the US!!!!!!!!! – Stephan Branczyk Dec 10 '19 at 3:25
6

should I tell them we're trying to get pregnant?

Nope, this is no ones business but your own.

Having said that, your new employer may not thrilled with you starting your, and then early on in your career with your new company needing to be off for maternity leave. Just keep that in mind as you make your career plans.

If you get this new role, you may want to consider delaying your attempts to get pregnant until after you get an understanding of your new work space climate. Who knows, getting hired on and becoming pregnant shortly after starting may or may not be a big deal.

4

You should consider what kind of rights you have around maternity pay etc. Certainly in the UK you must have worked for your employer for a certain amount of time before being entitled to the full amount of paternity/maternity pay.

2

My question is, should I tell the new company that I may be taking maternity leave within the first year of starting?

The simple answer is NO. 1) you are not pregnant yet, and even if no fertility issues are known, it could happen tomorrow or only a year from now. 2) In many countries (I don't know about the US) it is illegal to ask or to fire someone if they get pregnant.

However I do get the dilemma. Although it might be (in many countries atleast) illegal to get rid of someone who is pregnant. There are ofcourse (unfortunately) some companies who will simply find some other reason. And if they don't (the majority of them fortunately) then there is still the issue of them thinking you were dishonest (again a small minority in my opinion). This is a small risk and only you can answer how serious that would be for you (because if they react like the above they are shit anyway and you are lucky to be rid of them)

If the latter is really a big issue/fear for you, you could alway mention it during the interviews.

IMHO however you should not. Since you are not pregnant yet and have no idea when you will be. So my advice would be take the job and I hope you will take maternity leave in about 8 months.

2

On the one hand I agree with the people who say "they don't need to know", however....

It sounds like they've already been very accomodating (if they've come to the party on all other detractors you've raised), so one more little issue shouldn't be a problem if thy're so desperate to have you. It might be worth giving some thought as to why you're even asking the question. I'm not familiar with how the US operates, but I assume your concern is that you'll essentially be forced into leave without pay (not having been there long enough to qualify for maternity leave). Is your concern around your income, or is it more about whether they might be disappointed that you take leave so soon after starting?

Whether it's their business or not, given the effort they're going to to lure you in, I think it would be fair to let them know that that's where you stand (given they've sought you out, come to the party with other potential issues etc). If nothing else, it will give you an indication of whether they genuinely wnat you on board....

1

Tell them: you have nothing to lose

There are four cases:

  1. If you tell them, and they hire you anyway, it's a great sign: that is a nice company, accommodating to your human life and needs.
  2. If you tell them, and they don't hire you… would you really want to work for them?
  3. If you do not tell them, they hire you, and then they do not make a fuss about it, it means they are nice. So you could have told them in the first place. Hiding this might have stained your relationship a bit.
  4. If you do not tell them, they hire you, and they make a fuss about it… ok now you are working for an employer who is unemphatetic and considers you a trickster.

The only very good scenario here is number 1.

Number 3 is still good, but strictly worse than 1.

Number 2 means you dodged a bullet, still a nice outcome.

Number 4 means that you played smart and lost.

The other answers miss the point

Many answers are focused on "they have no right to ask". They clearly didn't properly read the question. They didn't ask. The question is whether the OP should volunteer this information or not.

Many answers focus on "hahaha they can't ask, just get hired and they can't do anything about it". And that's plain… "not really smart", let's say.

This is about starting with the right foot in a new company, AND about finding out if the company is nice or toxic.

Being open about such a thing solves both problems.

  • 2
    It is definitely not nice towards the company to start by hitting them with information they are legally required to ignore completely. That is the opposite of "starting with the right foot". – hmakholm left over Monica Dec 10 '19 at 12:59
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    "Many answers are focused on "they have no right to ask". They clearly didn't properly read the question" - actually, we did, we just appear to have a better understanding of the implications of this 'no right to ask' than you do. Why do you think the 'no right to ask' came about? It is because this was (and still is) used as a form of discrimination. Although you may feel bypassing this legal protection society has put in place to help protect you from being discriminated against is a good idea to help 'start on the right foot' I'd say you'd be starting in a worse position as a result. – RyanfaeScotland Dec 10 '19 at 13:11
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    "If you tell them, and they don't hire you… would you really want to work for them?" - This is such a naïve attitude to have - so if your dream job comes up, working for an internationally renowned company (think Apple with 132,000 employees) and the forefront of your industry with great location, remuneration and benefits and you don't get hired because 1 narrow minded individual at that company decides to illegally discriminate against you based on the information you volunteered you would just roll over and be like 'didn't want to work there anyway because Joe Bloggs sucks'? – RyanfaeScotland Dec 10 '19 at 13:16
  • @RyanfaeScotland of course! If the company would allow that kind of discrimination to happen, there must be something wrong at all levels. – o0'. Dec 11 '19 at 14:32
-2

Too many people here are talking about legalities and sticking it to the man, swindle as much as you can. This is not the way to live life.

The question you're asking is if it is ethical and moral to try and swindle and deceive a company that is going above and beyond to recruit you, with a massive 50k pay increase.

I question the morals of the people advising you to lie to your new employer, then go on maternity leave 3 months after starting and make them pay you full salary. Maybe it's legal, but be warned that you have now tarnished your reputation there and will be relegated to menial tasks and no responsibility.

Members on this site love to screw over their employers, even the good ones. Take their advice with a grain of salt, make the decision based on your own morals.

  • that is going above and beyond to recruit you, with a massive 50k pay increase...so, you're saying the company is doing a charity and OP is not getting paid by their merits and skills? – Sourav Ghosh Dec 10 '19 at 11:43
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    I question the morals of the people advising you to lie to your new employer..I don't think anyone advised to lie, it's just a bogus information that need not be communicated, that's all. – Sourav Ghosh Dec 10 '19 at 11:44
  • @SouravGhosh If OP thinks another company will be as accommodating, she is welcome to try. You're right, this company sounds pretty trash. – Jack Dec 10 '19 at 11:48
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    Exactly. And the consequences are not limited to the OP, it will reflect back on all women within a certain age with this recruiter if he/she is getting burnt this way by you. Ask yourself how you would look upon the situation if you were the recruiter. Would you just be happy if a fresh employee took a long leave for whatever reason, even if they have the legal right to do it? Or make it more personal, your partner didn't tell you he is planning to move far away for a work when you are buying a house together? – d-b Dec 10 '19 at 12:19
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    The right thing to do in this situation, if you want the work, is to postpone the child plans for a year. There are other advantages to this: this new work might end up not being what you expected and you might need to start looking for a new job soon. Do you want to do that during pregnancy or with a new born at home? Besides, look what the science says about having babies thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-22/edition-4/… – d-b Dec 10 '19 at 12:21

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