Pregnancy at Work

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How to Tell Your Boss You’re Pregnant

When you should be afforded the time and space to process this monumental life change, you may be losing sleep dreading the inevitable conversation with your boss. You may wonder what your job will do without you, or if you will be replaced. Indeed, many women are terrified to tell their employer about their pregnancy—more now than at prior points in history.

Do not be afraid: be informed. Here is what you need to know.

What to Say to Your Boss About Your Pregnancy (and How to Say It)

Keep it Simple and Constructive

Most people recommend sharing the news in person or by phone. (But see the next piece of advice, and make sure to confirm your discussion in writing.) You should share your due date and ask for any critical information like who to talk to about benefits or maternity leave. You should reiterate that you intend to return to work after your pregnancy and that you are committed to the company and your role.

Confirm the News in Writing

Whether you initially have an in-person conversation or not, you should always confirm news of your pregnancy in writing. This can be as simple as a follow-up email to HR saying, “Thanks for talking today. As we discussed, I’m pregnant and have a due date of [due date].” Include any additional items you have questions about, such as leave rights or accommodations (see below). Again, this allows you to prove your employer knew about your pregnancy.

Request Information About Your Leave and Accommodation Rights

After you talk to your boss and nail down who to speak to about your benefits, you should immediately request information about your rights under any applicable statutes and company policies. Your employer is required to provide notice to you of your rights under the PDLL in three separate ways: first, in an employee handbook (if you have one) or at the time of hire; second, by posting required notice in a conspicuous location at your worksite; and third, by providing required notices *again* when you disclose your pregnancy.

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