Author Topic: How to handle being recruited while pregnant  (Read 5000 times)

slb59

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How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« on: January 31, 2017, 09:45:59 AM »
In December, I got fed up with the lack of promotion opportunities at my current job and started a job hunt. I promptly quit it a week later when I found out I was pregnant. I figured I made decent money at a job I was comfortable with that let me work remotely, I could put up with the lack of prospects until I had a kid who let me get a decent night's sleep.

Well, while  I was searching I updated my LinkedIn profile saying I was interested in new opportunities, and a recruiter contacted me a few days ago. I didn't think the position would pay enough or would be very interesting, but I figured it couldn't hurt, so we had a call. Turns out the job is 100% up my alley and more money than I currently make.

Now that I want the job, I am trying to figure out when and how to bring in my pregnancy. I'm only 11 weeks, but it's my third kid so hiding the bump is getting difficult already,, and if they're the kind of company that doesn't want anything to do with a pregnant job prospect, I'd rather know that sooner rather than later. FMLA wouldn't apply and I'll be having a C-section so I will really need several weeks off to recover from the surgery. Advice?

Papa bear

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2017, 09:59:51 AM »
I wouldn't bring up the pregnancy until you are firmly on their radar for someone to hire, potentially until you have an offer. Make them want you first before disclosing. 

While it may be illegal to discriminate against you, it can and will happen with certain people or organizations.

If they have an issue with the pregnancy come offer time, then you can make a decision about working there or not.  When you get an offer is normally the time to negotiate the details, comp, benefits, etc. anyway.


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Harper

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2017, 10:49:58 AM »
*not a lawyer*

But I think you have to be working for the employer for 12 months before taking FMLA.

In order to be eligible to take leave under the FMLA, an employee must (1) work for a covered employer, (2) work 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of leave, (3) work at a location where 50 or more employees work at that location or within 75 miles of it, and (4) have worked for the employer for 12 months.

SKL-HOU

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2017, 11:02:25 AM »
*not a lawyer*

But I think you have to be working for the employer for 12 months before taking FMLA.

In order to be eligible to take leave under the FMLA, an employee must (1) work for a covered employer, (2) work 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of leave, (3) work at a location where 50 or more employees work at that location or within 75 miles of it, and (4) have worked for the employer for 12 months.

She already said FMLA wouldn't apply.

Honestly, I would stick it out until I had the baby. Does your husband make enough money if you were unemployed?

MayDay

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2017, 11:08:09 AM »
I wouldn't want to work for a non-family friendly company with 3 kids including a newborn, so I'd just tell them now. 

lbmustache

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2017, 11:16:08 AM »
I wouldn't want to work for a non-family friendly company with 3 kids including a newborn, so I'd just tell them now.

Yep, this. It sounds like you're ok (financially) already, and this job would just be a sort of bonus. I'd just tell them straight up, if they want you badly enough they will be fine with it. If not, oh well, back to enjoying your pregnancy at home :)

bonjourliz

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2017, 11:20:20 AM »
I wouldn't bring up the pregnancy until you are firmly on their radar for someone to hire, potentially until you have an offer. Make them want you first before disclosing. 

While it may be illegal to discriminate against you, it can and will happen with certain people or organizations.

If they have an issue with the pregnancy come offer time, then you can make a decision about working there or not.  When you get an offer is normally the time to negotiate the details, comp, benefits, etc. anyway.


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This. 

Treat it the the same as if you have a big vacation planned already, for after your start date.  (Not that maternity leave is the same as a vacation! I'm just digging out from my 3rd baby myself, and I know it's anything but a vacay!) Just in terms of... At some point you'd tell them "I have x scheduled already so I'll be out of the office for that time." Same here.

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I'm a red panda

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2017, 11:28:27 AM »
We've hired people who are pregnant; even visibly so. Top talent is top talent.

They get the standard 12-weeks unpaid, even though they don't qualify for FMLA technically. There is a "waiting period" for short term disability (3 months?) and for our 4-weeks parental leave (I think that is 6 months); but if the company wants you enough to recruit you, they are likely to work with you on this one.

charis

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2017, 11:42:05 AM »
I personally would not mention being pregnant if you can avoid it.  Though, having previous experience with interviewing while (very) pregnant, I would try to avoid changing jobs until after the baby is born.   If you are visibly pregnant during the interview and they want nothing to do with a pregnant candidate, they are not going to hire you.  So that will answer your question.

erutio

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2017, 11:44:49 AM »
Sounds like your current job, while not ideal, is still somewhat family friendly. 
Thus, when you bring up your pregnancy to the new company, you can use this as a litmus test of sorts for them.  Like others have said, talent is talent, and a good company will recognize that whether you are pregnant or not, and should actually accommodate you to help you feel more welcome.  If they do this (Pass the litmus test), great, another plus for joining the new company.
If they balk at the prospect of hiring someone preggo, well...you probably wouldn't want to be working for this type of company anyway.  Be glad that you found out this early and pass.

slb59

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2017, 05:08:24 AM »
Thanks, this was helpful!

I'll figure out whether or not there'll be a second interview and, if I get that far, bring it up then. That way they'll have had time to decide if they really want me or not and they have time to not make an offer if they don't want to deal with it (in which case, I don't want to work with them and am perfectly happy staying in my current position).

Iplawyer

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2017, 06:14:15 AM »
You don't really want to start your tenure at a company on the wrong foot.  Tell them now that you are pregnant and work in your leave somehow in the negotiations.  If they don't want to work with you on it - then it really isn't the company for you. If you don't tell them - then they'll feel duped and you start out the relationship in a lack of trust situation that is bound  to deteriorate. While you are not legally required to tell them and they can't deny you job based on pregnancy - they can make your job a living hell until you quit or they find a reason to leave.

T

BlueHouse

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2017, 06:57:49 AM »
We've hired people who are pregnant; even visibly so. Top talent is top talent.

They get the standard 12-weeks unpaid, even though they don't qualify for FMLA technically. There is a "waiting period" for short term disability (3 months?) and for our 4-weeks parental leave (I think that is 6 months); but if the company wants you enough to recruit you, they are likely to work with you on this one.

I've seen this more and more over the years. I think you should tell them now and expect the best. Back in the 80's, this info would have ended the convo, but not so anymore. We've come a long way, baby!  (You might have to be a child of the 80s to understand that reference)

havregryn

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2017, 07:06:08 AM »
Sounds like your current job, while not ideal, is still somewhat family friendly. 
Thus, when you bring up your pregnancy to the new company, you can use this as a litmus test of sorts for them.  Like others have said, talent is talent, and a good company will recognize that whether you are pregnant or not, and should actually accommodate you to help you feel more welcome.  If they do this (Pass the litmus test), great, another plus for joining the new company.
If they balk at the prospect of hiring someone preggo, well...you probably wouldn't want to be working for this type of company anyway.  Be glad that you found out this early and pass.

This.
Have no personal experience but have a friend who was interviewed for a better job and she told them she was pregnant. They freaked out a bit and chose not to hire her but really mostly because they really needed someone then and the example I'm telling is from a country where there's a legal entitlement to a whole year of maternity leave. Anyway, her baby is now about 6-7 months old and they recently called her and asked if she'd want to join them now. You have nothing to gain by not telling them you're pregnant either way and if they really want you they will still remember you after the baby is in daycare.

Mgmny

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2017, 08:05:23 AM »
In December, I got fed up with the lack of promotion opportunities at my current job and started a job hunt. I promptly quit it a week later when I found out I was pregnant. I figured I made decent money at a job I was comfortable with that let me work remotely, I could put up with the lack of prospects until I had a kid who let me get a decent night's sleep.

For clarification, because it appears i read it incorrectly. Is this pronoun referring to your job hunt or your current job?

honeybbq

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2017, 09:14:02 AM »
I wouldn't want to work for a non-family friendly company with 3 kids including a newborn, so I'd just tell them now.

I agree. Get them interested in you, talk to them about your options. They may 'let' you have FMLA anyways (no pay) if they really want you.

SKL-HOU

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2017, 11:28:41 AM »
In December, I got fed up with the lack of promotion opportunities at my current job and started a job hunt. I promptly quit it a week later when I found out I was pregnant. I figured I made decent money at a job I was comfortable with that let me work remotely, I could put up with the lack of prospects until I had a kid who let me get a decent night's sleep.

For clarification, because it appears i read it incorrectly. Is this pronoun referring to your job hunt or your current job?

Reading the rest of her post, I believe "it" refers to job hunting. She quit job hunting, not her current job.

Goldielocks

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2017, 12:00:27 PM »
We've hired people who are pregnant; even visibly so. Top talent is top talent.



I wouldn't tell them, go through a first (usually phone) interview, and if called back, make it clear that you have a 3 month planned time off for months x through y, and are they still interested?

Your call if you tell them why during the second interview.   They could just guess that you are fat, because they are not supposed to ask  (which is pretty funny if you are very pregnant)...   :-)

With two kids already, you know if you are likely to be a FT working mom within the year or not.  That is the primary reason to tell them ahead of time, if you you are thinking of taking more than 6 months off, they need to know now.

I'm a red panda

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2017, 12:08:38 PM »
I wouldn't tell them, go through a first (usually phone) interview, and if called back, make it clear that you have a 3 month planned time off for months x through y, and are they still interested?

Your call if you tell them why during the second interview.   They could just guess that you are fat, because they are not supposed to ask  (which is pretty funny if you are very pregnant)...   :-)

With two kids already, you know if you are likely to be a FT working mom within the year or not.  That is the primary reason to tell them ahead of time, if you you are thinking of taking more than 6 months off, they need to know now.

I'm obviously in a US-centric mindset, but I don't agree with this. 3 months planned time off is A LOT to ask of an employer. (And I'm someone who took a 10 day vacation within 5 days of my hire date at my current job. 10 days is over half of my annual leave balance.)  I can't imagine moving forward on a candidate who wanted to take 3 months off very quickly after the hire date, UNLESS, we knew she was pregnant- in which case, oh, well that makes sense.

Assuming the poster is in the US- taking more than 6 months of is extraordinarily uncommon. That usually equals "leaving your job".
3 months off is considered a "long" leave (the maximum protected by law, assuming you qualify for that protection, which I think most of the workforce does not)- many women go back within 6 weeks, some even sooner.

RelaxedGal

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2017, 12:10:27 PM »
For what it's worth I didn't tell anyone when I was interviewing, but that was ~ 10 weeks pregnant with my first and it wasn't noticeable.  I did walk into my new boss' office on the first day, closed the door, and told him.  I may have lost some trust there, I know I was given smaller projects and there was some concern that I wasn't going to come back from maternity leave (by the way that's 8 weeks unpaid in MA if you don't qualify for FMLA).  Since this is your third maybe you're less of a flight risk?

Someone above suggested treating it like a planned vacation.  I know others have handled that during the salary and benefits negotiation.  Never occurred to me to think of it that way when I was hired but I like it.

totoro

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2017, 12:20:18 PM »
As a former employer I would be unhappy if an employee did not disclose this up front as I would perceive it as a character issue. I would hire a pregnant employee based on skills and references and would be able to plan around this with advance notice.

Dicey

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2017, 12:36:18 PM »
Hmmm, what does your gut tell you? Much more important than a bunch of intelligent, experienced, well-meaning internet strangers.

It's your call.

charis

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2017, 12:38:53 PM »
3 months off is considered a "long" leave (the maximum protected by law, assuming you qualify for that protection, which I think most of the workforce does not)- many women go back within 6 weeks, some even sooner.

I have never heard of anyone in my US neck of the woods refer to a 3 month maternity leave as "long."  That's pretty disturbing.  Almost everyone I know took/takes at least 12-14 weeks.  A couple took around 10, which is considered short.  At my former employer, the most common maternity leave is 6 months.   These are management/professional female employees.

As a former employer I would be unhappy if an employee did not disclose this up front as I would perceive it as a character issue. I would hire a pregnant employee based on skills and references and would be able to plan around this with advance notice.

Pregnancy discrimination abounds.  The fact that you see it as a character issue for not disclosing something that someone is not legally required to disclosed for fear of being discriminated against strikes me as a much bigger problem.

PS - not trying to discourage OP from disclosing her pregnancy - it sounds like she has good reasons to do so.


I'm a red panda

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2017, 12:45:46 PM »
3 months off is considered a "long" leave (the maximum protected by law, assuming you qualify for that protection, which I think most of the workforce does not)- many women go back within 6 weeks, some even sooner.

I have never heard of anyone in my US neck of the woods refer to a 3 month maternity leave as "long."  That's pretty disturbing.  Almost everyone I know took/takes at least 12-14 weeks.  A couple took around 10, which is considered short.  At my former employer, the most common maternity leave is 6 months.   These are management/professional female employees.


I wouldn't say it is referred to as long, everyone complains about it being too short (because 12 weeks is ridiculously short)- but it is considered long and I've heard plenty of "you're so lucky you can take 3 months off". In all 3 states I've worked in (professional, exempt, FMLA eligible positions or positions that get 'FMLA-like' leave) 12 weeks was kind of the "maximum", hence it being the long one.  People who couldn't afford time off would take 4-6 weeks. If you had a lot of banked vacation or could afford unpaid time you had the "luxury" of getting all 12 weeks.

When I did daycare as a side gig, we'd get babies as young as 3 weeks when their parents had to return to work. The most common age for babies to start was 6 weeks.

My current job has what I consider a generous leave policy at 4 weeks paid; I've never worked somewhere with paid leave before. I get FMLA-like leave which allows me a total of 12 weeks; if I have a documented reason (such as a NICU baby) I can apply for an additional 8 weeks of job protection, but I lose all my benefits for those extra 2 months, and am not grandfathered if any changes roll through company wide while I am gone.

I've never met anyone who took a 6 month leave, your former employer must be pretty generous.

charis

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2017, 12:58:27 PM »
I guess I've been lucky in many ways, since 12 weeks is neither referred to, or considered, long around here for most employers.  It is considered standard - the amount of time that most people take off, anything less is rather unusual for a professionally employed mother.   Most people horde vacation/sick leave for this purpose. We certainly see 6 week old babies going into daycare, but it is much less common than 12 to 18 week old starts.   I get that many women cannot afford to take off the full amount of FMLA, but my point was that employers should never be surprised that an employee wants a 12 month leave.

My former employer was generous, of course, but wisely took the view that keeping good employees coming back was more important than trying to grab three tired, stressed months from a new mother.   

And it works.

totoro

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2017, 05:37:38 PM »
Pregnancy discrimination abounds.  The fact that you see it as a character issue for not disclosing something that someone is not legally required to disclosed for fear of being discriminated against strikes me as a much bigger problem.

PS - not trying to discourage OP from disclosing her pregnancy - it sounds like she has good reasons to do so.

I owned a law firm which included a human rights practice.  I encouraged female employees to have kids while employed by me and supported this in our policies and with time off - heck I had four and was part-time for this reason.  While I fully understand discrimination exists, disclosing a condition in advance of being hired for a high level professional position creates trust imo - which is needed - and reflects that level of professionalism and confidence.  An employer also knows, in Canada, if they do not hire you they'd better be able to demonstrate that it was not related.

If you are applying for a government job or a lower level job I would agree that disclosure might not be the best path.  A high level professional position in a small work force and I say disclose it.   It is hard to find good employees and if 12 weeks off and some flexibility is needed to keep them you give it.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2017, 05:39:09 PM by totoro »

Chrissy

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2017, 06:26:14 PM »
Why not say you have surgery scheduled for [month] and will require 12 weeks for recovery?  This is also the truth.

Metric Mouse

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #27 on: February 01, 2017, 07:05:21 PM »
I wouldn't want to work for a non-family friendly company with 3 kids including a newborn, so I'd just tell them now.

I agree. Get them interested in you, talk to them about your options. They may 'let' you have FMLA anyways (no pay) if they really want you.
This has been my experience with a relative who was in a very similar situation. No pay, but the vacation payout from the last job pretty much covered the 12 weeks of unpaid leave at the new one, so it was a financial wash, for a much better position.

I'm a red panda

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #28 on: February 01, 2017, 07:23:09 PM »
Why not say you have surgery scheduled for [month] and will require 12 weeks for recovery?  This is also the truth.

How is this truth?
Most births are not surgery.
And the medical recovery from a c section is typically given as 8 weeks.

I wouldn't dig a hole like this with something just not true.

Chrissy

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #29 on: February 01, 2017, 09:55:12 PM »
Why not say you have surgery scheduled for [month] and will require 12 weeks for recovery?  This is also the truth.

How is this truth?
Most births are not surgery.
And the medical recovery from a c section is typically given as 8 weeks.

I wouldn't dig a hole like this with something just not true.

Uhhh... slb59 SAYS she's having a c-section, and, IME, preplanned cesareans are usually scheduled.  So, it's true in this case.

slb59

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Re: How to handle being recruited while pregnant
« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2017, 05:26:31 AM »
Quote
Reading the rest of her post, I believe "it" refers to job hunting. She quit job hunting, not her current job.

Right. Sorry for the confusion, I'll clarify that.

Quote
How is this truth?
Most births are not surgery.
And the medical recovery from a c section is typically given as 8 weeks.

I'm 99.9% sure I'll have a C-section. I've had 2 priors and live in a state where it's pretty much unheard of to do a regular birth after two previous C-sections. Even when I lived in a state much friendlier to VBACs, my pro-VBAC midwife said my history wouldn't make me a very good candidate and anyone who told me otherwise was probably a quack... Not that it couldn't happen, but the reality is that it's quite unlikely.

I'm so jealous of the people talking about 6 months as normal! I just feel lucky to have any paid leave at all and I'm definitely in the ranks of "professional". My plan right now is to do 8 weeks full-time 4 weeks half-time, but if I switch jobs that can be negotiated. With my last kid I wanted to try working part-time from home at 7 weeks, but couldn't get doctor's sign-off until 8 weeks. I think that might've just been a condition of our short-term disability package, though, because I've heard of enough women returning to work earlier than that.