How to Inform an Employer of Pregnancy

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Learning that you are expecting a new bundle of joy is exciting. Expecting a baby, however, can also bring a lot of anxiety. One major source of worry is how to tell your employer you're pregnant. Employers cannot legally discriminate due to pregnancy, but that doesn't mean the news will be well-received.

  • Research company policies on pregnancy and maternity leave. It's important to know your rights before informing the boss of your pregnancy. The Family Medical Leave Act states that companies which employ more than 50 people inside a 75-mile radius must offer a 12-week unpaid maternity leave for employees who've been with the company a year or more. Some companies that employ fewer than 50 people also have this policy. Additional benefits may also be available. Obtain the necessary information from your human resources department or company handbook.

  • Decide how much time off you plan to take. Your boss will want to know how long you'll be gone. Many expectant mothers have the 12-week option but can't take full advantage of it because of tight finances. Talk to your significant other about the financial situation, and determine how much time is best for you. Some mothers are able to take more than 12 weeks off because of accrued vacation days or other benefits. Check with the human resources department to find out whether you have any other time you can add to your leave.

  • Consider the best time to tell your employer you're pregnant. If you're currently finishing up a big project, it may be best to wait until its completion. This will avoid any unnecessary worry for your boss. If you're expecting a review or promotion soon, you may want to wait until it has passed. On the other hand, you may want to tell your boss as soon as possible if you expect to have difficulties performing some of your duties.

  • Think about your job duties and how they will be accomplished while you are away on leave. You don't have to have a plan set in stone because your boss will most likely have preferences. However, having suggestions ready will show your boss that you care about your job.

  • Schedule a time to meet with your boss. It's not a good idea to just step into her office and announce the news. She could be on an important phone call or preparing for a meeting. If your boss is distracted, she may not react well even if she's happy for you. Schedule a meeting to be sure you'll have her full attention.

  • Be upbeat when you share the good news. Don't act guilty or apologize because you'll be missing work. This is a happy time in your life, and you don't have to be ashamed or guilty. With that in mind, it's still important to remain professional. Your supervisor will most likely ask how long you'll be gone and even if you're coming back. Make sure you're prepared to answer these questions.

  • Document your conversation with the boss in writing. Type up a letter detailing what you discussed and give a him copy. Also keep a copy for your records. Make sure you include any dates you discussed, such as an approximate start date for your leave and how long you plan to be gone.

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  • Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images
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