Dilemma of the Month: When a Personal Matter Gets Professional

by Evil HR Lady on March 8, 2016

I am an exempt employee and have been working at my company for just under three years. I recently had a serious medical issue that required me to terminate a pregnancy for my own health. I’ve now had three doctor visits in comparatively short succession, and my supervisor is asking why. Since this is an incredibly personal matter, I’m wondering how much I am required to disclose?

To read the answer, click here: Dilemma of the Month: When a Personal Matter Gets Professional

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous March 8, 2016 at 4:04 pm

The link doesn’t seem to be working

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Evil HR Lady March 8, 2016 at 4:05 pm

Thanks. Fixed!

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JIll March 8, 2016 at 4:13 pm

I would definitely keep it vague and just refer to it as a “serous medical issue.” Pregnancy termination is such a controversial topic – many people oppose it even to protect the health/life of the mother. You don’t need that kind of judgment – especially at work. Your boss probably just wants reassurance that doctor visits won’t negatively impact your work so you might also want a plan in place for how you will try to ensure that work still flows smoothly. Best wishes to you in your recovery!

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grannybunny March 8, 2016 at 5:33 pm

I’m with you. I would not disclose to an employer that I had terminated a pregnancy unless I knew for sure that the disclosure would not engender some type of emotional, negative, reaction.

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Camellia March 8, 2016 at 6:45 pm

I wouldn’t even use the phrase “serous medical issue”; I think it makes people think of worse case scenarios such as cancer. I would just keep it simple with Evil’s scripted answer of “I’ve been ill…”

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David March 8, 2016 at 6:03 pm

I love the irony of disclosing your private medical condition as a preventative measure to avoid getting fired for the same private medical condition. HR is intriguing and complex sometimes. Great advice!

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Laura K. March 9, 2016 at 2:15 am

Such great advice. I especially love this: “The less rational and compassionate your boss is, the more you need to get legal protection by filling out the paperwork.” David your comment = my thoughts exactly. Unreal!

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Elizabeth West March 17, 2016 at 3:12 pm

I wouldn’t say why either. It’s really nobody’s business. Just tell the boss you’ve been dealing with some medical problems and you’ll do your best to keep the appointments as non-disruptive as possible.

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Anon April 7, 2016 at 8:28 pm

I wouldn’t say why either. It really isn’t his business and unfortunately he or others may harass you for an abortion. If you are experiencing any stress or bereavement related to the termination exhale offers unbiased and supportive post-abortion counseling http://www.4exhale.org/ other resources and support can be found here- http://endingawantedpregnancy.com/
So sorry for your loss.

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