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Woman Called Out For Not Telling New Employer About Her Pregnancy To Avoid Discrimination

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A pregnancy can be a fraught issue in the workplace, given the potential for discrimination.

For a woman on Reddit, this situation resulted in her keeping her pregnancy a secret from her new employer. She wasn’t sure about whether this was the right approach, so she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.

The Original Poster (OP), who goes by thegoodknee on the site, asked:

“AITA for not disclosing my pregnancy to a new employer?”

She explained:

“I recently found out I was pregnant.”

“Only two weeks later, I got a job offer, which I accepted. I didn’t say anything about my pregnancy as it’s so early. I’ve also heard of employers discriminating against pregnant workers by not hiring them, and I wanted to avoid that.”

“Last week, I told some relatives about the new job and the pregnancy. One of them asked me if I told the boss about being pregnant. When I said no, he got disapproving and said I shouldn’t have lied about it.”

“I didn’t say anything, but I don’t think I’m in the wrong. My goal is to protect myself and the baby’s wellbeing, and having a job with maternity leave and a guarantee of work when I return will help me.”

“AITA?”

People on Reddit were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

And virtually everyone understood OP’s decision, given how very real the issue of workplace discrimination against working mothers is.

“Only in america is being pregnant something people feel like hiding. It’s not your fault you live in a country that gives zero fu*ks about workers rights. You made the right call” –haaroon1

“Not just America. I’m Australian and also ‘hide’ pregnancies until late in the game because discrimination is rife.”

“Don’t get me wrong – employers are rarely dumb enough to say it’s specifically because of pregnancy, but they will still discount pregnant women from hirings, promotions etc and give a generic reason like ‘cultural fit’.” –Hefty_Candidate_4902

“Employers in the USA can’t disqualify a potential candidate based on pregnancy status (that’s one of the few protections we do have) & if you’re fired for being pregnant, you have a nice lawsuit against them.” –Few-Entrepreneur383

“I dont live in the US but in 2015, I had this wonderful interview but I showed up with my huge belly. They didnt call me back until 2016 and asked if ai had given birth (a month after I gave birth) and offered me the job. My point is the employers wherever they are in the world would somehow avoid maternety leaves and all the things that come with pregnancy. For me you did the right thing – NTA.” –singleusagi

“German here. Pretty common thing to do. A company is allowed to ask of you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy on an interview. You can blatantly lie and there is nothing they can do.” –moooiiisss

“It’s illegal to even ask about a persons status regarding children but there are always ways to discriminate. That being said don’t be silly it’s not even illegal to discriminate against a woman not to mention pregnancy in several countries in the world so let’s not start bashing the US for something that happens in many places. We are not perfect or even close in the US but no where is perfect.” –JuryNo7670

“It happens in Germany too.. in Germany you can’t be single at certain age for job apparently they assume you will just get pregnant as single woman at drop of hat.. if you are married they will look for candidate with children who go to school.”

“They don’t want women who are pregnant. They don’t want women above certain age group. They don’t want single women after certain age in their company . They just want to keep men at work while for women there are many don’ts 🤷🏻‍♀️” –Connect_Peanut_7308

“I lost my job a month after I found out I was pregnant. It took me another month to find and start a new job. I still didn’t say anything until I was about 4 months along because I was afraid that 1) I wouldn’t get the job if I was up front and 2) I had previously suffered a miscarriage and worried that would happen again and didn’t want that to be a subject especially at a new job.”

“It’s terrifying to be pregnant and unemployed, and when I finally did tell my new manager it was one of the scariest conversations I’ve had at work. The next scariest was when I had an emergency c-section and had to take off an extra 2 weeks (short-term disability covers 6 weeks for natural birth, 8 for c-section). I was so nervous I’d be let go.” –fine-fiona

“…social constructs are great at simultaneously wanting a woman to conceive (and damn her if she chooses not to, the heathen /s) and punishing those who are or want to be.”

“They’re not allowed to ask, so you didn’t lie. They should be judging you by whether or not they reckon you can do the job.”

“And also since when did having a kid mean that someone shouldn’t seek to earn more?!” –skeetzmv

“…this also happens in Germany. Some employers even don’t like to hire women in their end 20s/ early 30s since they don’t want the risk of the women getting pregnant.”

“Also, men taking paternity leave are also often discriminated against.” –autokiller677

“NTA”

“You didn’t lie about being pregnant. You simply didn’t volunteer it, and the employer didn’t violate the law by asking (at least in the USA).”

“You didn’t need to disclose, plus if you are before 10 weeks along, it is still REALLY early.”

“You likely won’t qualify for any maternity benefits, and depending on the company’s insurance you may not qualify to have the pregnancy covered under their insurance if you are in the USA.”

“If you are in the US, FMLA will not apply since you will not have been on the job for 12 months when you give birth.”

“SO – once you start showing, or about 5 – 6 months, make sure to say something to your supervisor and/or HR to set things up. You may need to take an unpaid leave of absence or not take as much time off as some people when your baby comes.”

“Congrats on the pregnancy and I hope it is a healthy one resulting in a healthy baby!” –Algebralovr

Hopefully all goes well for OP at her new job.

Written by John Sundholm

John Sundholm is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.