Having a baby can be one of the most exciting times in your life. But if you’re on the job search while nurturing a tiny life inside you, you might be more than a little overwhelmed. Pregnancy discrimination is still a very serious problem. “It’s a fact that women who are pregnant have a vastly more difficult time getting hired than women who are not.  Searching for a new job is challenging for anyone, but trying to find one when you’re pregnant adds a host of additional obstacles. You might face employers who are wary about bringing on someone new only to have you go on maternity leave soon after.

KNOW THAT LAWS PROTECT YOU

Laws do protect you from discrimination And, by law, “employers cannot require you to disclose your pregnancy.” In fact, it’s illegal for potential employers to even ask. That said, while the law is clear, how you feel about keeping that information to yourself and how employers handle your pregnancy if you do tell them can fall into a gray area. Although it is illegal for employers to discriminate against women who are pregnant during the hiring process, it is possible that they will attribute your not being selected for the position to something unrelated when, in fact, your pregnancy was the main reason they chose not to hire you.

Mention your other children (if you have any)

If you’re in a position (as in, obviously pregnant), and you’ve already opened the door to talking about your family life, it’s ok to mention any other children you have. Having other kids at home can ease concerns that you won’t return to work after maternity leave ends. “If this is your second or third child, you’re able to show them you know what it’s all about and with conviction can say you’ll return to work because it’s not something you’re unfamiliar with,”

Don’t stress too much if you’re in high demand

“If you’re in an industry where there is high demand for what you do and your reputation is outstanding, then companies will ignore the fact that you’re pregnant.” They’ll be eager to lock you in. “For them, it’s a futures contract,”  You may be unavailable for a few months, but what you’ll bring to the company in the long run makes hiring you worthwhile.

You Can Choose to Tell Potential Employers You’re Pregnant—Or Not

Should you tell potential employers you’re expecting? The answer to this question is… it depends. While there’s no legal requirement for you to tell employers you’re pregnant, other factors may convince you to share regardless. As well as whether or not you should share, consider when to share the news. You don’t want to explain yourself out of a job offer if the employer would hesitate about making one once they know you’re pregnant.

If you do not disclose your pregnancy during an interview, it’s a good idea to share the news after the company makes an offer. Having a job offer opens the door to negotiations now is the time to ask for leave and any other accommodations. And remember, the company made you an offer because they’re eager for you to come on board. Telling your employer at this point also allows them to plan ahead so that any leave time you take is not disruptive to operations.

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