Sharing pregnancy news is an intensely private decision. Timing is an important consideration, as are the specific people you decide to tell. And if all this isn’t complicated enough on a personal level, the question of how to approach this professionally can be very, very sticky.
The process is NOT made easy for moms. Often pregnancy/maternity leave policies are difficult to come by – and that’s if your employer has one at all!
First, you need to know your legal rights:
- Visit the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to understand laws that protect you
- For Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protections, visit the US Department of Labor website
- Go to Babygate’s helpful website to learn about specific laws in your state
Sadly, not all women are protected the same way because several variables determine exactly each women is eligible for (i.e., full-time vs. part-time employment, size of organization, length of employment, etc.). As if there isn’t enough potential stress around this process, the pandemic can complicate things even further. However, COVID19 conditions have not affected federal legislation. And you might be able to use remote work to your advantage, depending upon your preferences and the employer’s philosophy on working from home.
For more guidance, check out this excellent guide published by the New York Times last year. You’ll find great advice on how to approach the conversation along with lots of other helpful tips.
Hopefully, your boss and colleagues will be supportive and collaborative when it comes to a plan that’s sustainable during your pregnancy as well as your postpartum leave. If you’d like to learn more as you head into your pregnancy journey, download our free info packet.