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Employer asked my last menstrual period

Nurse Beth   (449 Views 1 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and works as a Nursing Professional Development Specialist.

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Dear Nurse Beth,

I am pregnant . I applied for a staffing agency job and they ask on the physical exam form “ LMP” last menstrual period . Clearly I don’t want them to not hire me because I am pregnant . It’s a per diem position anyways so should it matter when I eventually need to go on Maternity leave . Should I leave it blank? Or write irregular ? Clearly this employer is fishing for the preggies . Another agency didn’t have this question on their heath employment form . Please advise . Thank you

Dear Pregnant,

It's legal to ask questions about your skills and qualification, but it's against federal and state laws to ask questions that single out female applicants and are not asked of males. That's discrimination.

Except in certain circumstances, it's also illegal to ask any job applicant about their age, race, gender, and sexual orientation.

You can leave the question blank, or you can ask the employer the relevance of asking about your last menstrual period. Chances are they know they cannot ask if you are pregnant under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, so they will back down on asking the question.

Other illegal questions include asking if you:

  • Have children
  • Have childcare
  • Have transportation to work
  • Are married, single or divorced
  • Have plans to get pregnant
  • Are taking birth control or fertility treatment

Consider that if the employer does not know the basics of employment discrimination, do you really want to work for them?

Best wishes on your pregnancy,

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!


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