4 mos. Pregnant & starting new RN job; Employer doesn't know yet; Will I be fired?

  1. If any of you out there have experience with this, I would love to hear about it...

    When I applied for the job I was 2 months pregnant... I am finally starting the job but now I am 4 months pregnant. I haven't told them for fear that they wouldn't hire me. When I do tell them... Could they fire me for being pregnant before I got hired? Will I be able to take a leave? How soon should I tell them?

    so confused and scared... i really need this job!
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  2. 34 Comments

  3. by   GeauxNursing
    from what i understand, you didn't have to tell them at hire. they are not allowed to ask, and cannot "legally" discriminate against you for being pregnant. period. am I right?
  4. by   Nrs_angie
    Quote from jorlsu
    from what i understand, you didn't have to tell them at hire. they are not allowed to ask, and cannot "legally" discriminate against you for being pregnant. period. am I right?
    I have no idea... but I sure hope not... what about being able to take maternity leave?
  5. by   kmn360
    No they cannot fire you. and if they start treating you in a negative way after you tell them, it could actully turn into a law suit. I went through this myself. The employer was not happy, but they couldn't do anything and I was a good employee. Most large companes/hospitals know the law and some will hire regarless. If you have any issues with management on your floor take it to HR.
  6. by   Nrs_angie
    Quote from kmn360
    No they cannot fire you. and if they start treating you in a negative way after you tell them, it could actully turn into a law suit. I went through this myself. The employer was not happy, but they couldn't do anything and I was a good employee. Most large companes/hospitals know the law and some will hire regarless. If you have any issues with management on your floor take it to HR.
    Thanks for the info... just curious, can you be more specific... what sort of negative treatment did they do to you?
  7. by   txpixiedust
    It is most assuredly against the law to fire someone because they are pregnant. You are also allowed 3 months of leave, thanks to the Family Leave Protection Act. This law entitles you to unpaid time off because of giving birth, adoption, family illness, personal illness, or a few other personal type issues. Unfortunately we all know that some employers will replace us and make it look like we needed to be fired. I doubt though, that this will happen to you. Just be the BEST nurse you can be while you're there, and let them know when to expect your return from maternity leave. If they give you any grief you can always contact the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) in your area.

    Also, depending on how long you'll be there before deilvering, and when your insurance starts, etc. you may qualify for short-term disability during maternity leave (especially if you have a c-section). You would have to use all your vacation & sick days first, but then you'd get partial pay for a set number of days you're on maternity leave. Also, by accepting short-term disability you're pretty much guaranteed to get your job back - you would have to return within a set number of days or you'd have to pay it back. This would keep the HR department involved, and your manager would be less likely to replace you permanently.

    Congratulations on the baby!
    Good Luck & God Bless!
    txpixiedust
  8. by   RN1989
    Legally they cannot fire you for being pregnant. However, if you are an at-will employee, they can fire you because they didn't like the clothing that you wore one day. Of course, they have to have pretty good cases built up to survive someone who will apply for unemployment and/or get an attorney if you were a good nurse and they fired you over something stupid.

    Frequently they will make people feel guilty for wanting to take their leave time - the staff will have to work short without you, you are putting a hardship on the team - stupid stuff. And sometimes they will just "mob" you and make you so miserable you want to quit anyway. But, they have to be prepared for the consequences if they do this crap to you, which is illegal.
  9. by   Agnus
    Quote from Nrs_angie
    If any of you out there have experience with this, I would love to hear about it...

    When I applied for the job I was 2 months pregnant... I am finally starting the job but now I am 4 months pregnant. I haven't told them for fear that they wouldn't hire me. When I do tell them... Could they fire me for being pregnant before I got hired? Will I be able to take a leave? How soon should I tell them?

    so confused and scared... i really need this job!

    sorry i posted the same thread in two forums, just to get more responses
    Nope they can not fire you for this. It would be illegal. They can not stop you from taking maturnity leave. Now relax and congrats!
  10. by   kmn360
    I didn't tell my employer, I needed the job too, and didn't want to risk not having one. I was young too. This was not in a hospital, but same rules apply. After I told them, they became inflexible, and hositle. They basically told me they would not have hired me had they known. I would schedule all my appointments around work with the few exceptions of lab work. They would know weeks in advance and would approve the time, but when the time came that was a different story. One time I was actually told should I leave they would fire me. It wasn't until after the fact unfortunately that I learned almost everything they were doing was illegal. Since then when things don't seem right I call the labor board and EEOC and have learned a lot.

    You might be surprised, they might have hired you either way - alot of companies do, I know I have and didn't have any regrets, it worked out well.
  11. by   Sarah LnDHopes
    Congratulations

    Just wanted to add:

    Quote from txpixiedust
    You are also allowed 3 months of leave, thanks to the Family Leave Protection Act. This law entitles you to unpaid time off because of giving birth, adoption, family illness, personal illness, or a few other personal type issues.
    This is only available after being employed for a year and working a minimum number of hours.
  12. by   ShayRN
    Just curious as to why the secret? I interviewed when I was prenant both times and both times I was upfront and told them I was pregnant. The first was a nursing home right out of college. They hired me on the spot. Then, when I was pregnant with #2, went to the hospital and I got the call the next day. It really wasn't a big deal to them. My thinking is this, do you want to WORK for someone who will give you a hard time about being pregnant? Because once that baby does come, it is all about the child. I would tell them right away so that they can plan for your leave. Oh, the hospital floor that hired me? The unit manager asks me to come back and work for her every time I see her
  13. by   suanna
    Having a y chromosome I'm not the best person to answer this post but as far as I know you are entitled to 3mos off by federal FMLA guidelines for the birth of a child without recrimination by your employer. If you lose your job your employer is taking a big chance of facing a discrimination suit. I don't think you have anything to worry about besides the next 18 to forever years of being a mom. CONGRATS!!! Hope the baby is healthy happy and fat with lots of hair. (I love fat babies)
  14. by   AprilRNhere
    I just want to ditto a previous poster...you have to be employed for a year for FMLA to effect you. There's also a minimum number of employees they have to have.

    Advice...make yourself indispensible. Be the best employee you can be...and they'll want you back.

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