Dear Evil HR Lady –
I’m looking for advice on how to handle the following situation.
I left my job 3 months ago and to take some time off – with no deadline as to when I would resume work. Then, a handsome and ideal job fell in my radar. The company has extended a generous offer to me. It’s a senior management position. The kicker is that we have trying to get pregnant for the last 3 years. In the last year have been receiving medical help. In fact, I’m in my last week of an infertility treatment cycle and will be taking a pregnancy test in 7 days. Mind you, this is the 3 attempt – so we haven’t been successful yet. I plan on accepting this offer. The question is, do I tell the company that I have plans to start a family or that in 7 days I will know whether or not I’m pregnant. I feel compel to say something because the position I would fill is important to the organization. I don’t think my pregnancy would diminish my ability to contribute – but I don’t want to start off a working relationship with the perception that I tricked them.
Dear New Senior Manager,
I hope all goes well and you are pregnant. In the past I’ve recommended disclosing a pregnancy so as to not end up in a hostile environment. (Keep in mind that discriminating against you because you are pregnant is illegal, but difficult to prove.) However, you don’t know if you are pregnant yet–you just might be pregnant. Disclosing at this point seems like too much information.
However, I’m a bit concerned about you. Why did you take three months off? Was it for the pressures of dealing with infertility? If you did, you’re not alone. It can be a terribly stressful time and you aren’t the first person to need time off. My big concern is if you aren’t pregnant. Then what? Are you prepared to go through another round of treatments?
If you are going to need time off for these treatments, you’ll need to explain early. Unfortunately, I don’t believe you can be guarenteed time off for treatments, as it’s not fully decided whether infertility is covered under ADA. Keep in mind that as a new employee, you aren’t eligible for FMLA either.
Since you are planning to accept the offer, regardless of the result of the pregnancy test, and since they can’t rescind it, I would not say anything at this point. Wait unti your pregnancy is established and then go forward. If you were further along, I’d have you tell now, but since you’re not, wait a bit.
Good luck with everything,
Evil HR Lady