Perhaps you just learned the good news of your pregnancy or you’ve finally passed that first trimester mark that many use as a guideline for telling friends and family, but what about work? When is the right time to tell your employer that you’re pregnant and will (likely) be taking some time off in the future?
A good rule of thumb is that it is time to let your boss know when you start wearing the ‘pregnancy pants’ with the elastic waistline that’s mean to accomodate your growing baby. Or, put another way, when you begin showing that you are pregnant is a good time to sit down and discuss your pregnancy and expected maternity leave with your boss.
For many women, work may be especially difficult during the first trimester as your body adjusts to your pregnancy, plaguing you with bouts of nausea and the inability to ever feel fully rested. You may feel that it’s become obvious to your employer that you are pregnant, but it is still important to sit down with him or her to discuss the logistics of your growing family and how it will affect your work schedule.
California and federal law offer several protections for expecting and new moms as well as to parents newly-adopting a child. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows new parents to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave for the birth or adoption of a child.
The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) also allows new parents to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave following the birth or adoption of a child. There are additional protections for pregnancy-related disabilities.
Regardless of when you decide to tell your employer that you are expecting, he or she cannot legally discriminate against you based on your pregnancy. You cannot be passed over for promotions or pay raises, asked to take a demotion or lower paying job, or terminated on the basis that you are pregnant.
Source: Forbes, “Pregnancy and the Office: When to Tell,” September 4, 2012