Pregnancy is one of the leading roots of discrimination in the workplace. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces laws to protect applicants and employees who are pregnant. This means you are protected from being discriminated against, including disclosing information about your pregnancy.
Here is what you should know about informing your employer about your pregnancy:
When is the right time?
It may be best to inform your employer about your pregnancy within a reasonable window, allowing both of you to plan for your maternity leave. Your employer may need to start preparing for your maternity benefits, and you may need to plan how you will complete crucial tasks before then or how your team will work if you are a team leader.
Therefore, informing your employer sooner may be advantageous, but it’s not a legal requirement. You can tell them days before you take your maternity leave.
Can they tell others?
It may be unlawful for your employer to tell others you are pregnant without your permission. Being pregnant is personal information. Therefore, it should not be shared without your consent.
Further, even when your employer starts looking for someone to handle your core responsibilities, they should still not disclose your information. They can simply tell potential parties they want them to take additional tasks within a particular period. And when you are ready to go on maternity leave, the parties will know.
Should you tell your colleagues?
If your coworkers find out you are pregnant from your employer, do not feel pressured to confirm the news. You may choose not to comment on it while you consider your options.
If your employer tells people in the office about your pregnancy without your permission, it may be best to get legal help to protect your rights.