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Job Hunting While Pregnant?

May 31, 2024 Pregnancy Discrimination

Understand Your Rights

Job hunting at any time can be a fraught and challenging process. If you’re looking for a job while pregnant, you may face additional levels of stress—and sometimes discrimination. Every pregnant person should know their rights when going into an interview and at every stage of the job hunting process. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

It Is Unlawful for Employers To Ask if You Are Pregnant 

Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, employers are not permitted to ask if you are pregnant in a job interview. They are also not permitted to ask if you already have children, how many children you have, or whether you plan on becoming pregnant soon.

It Is Unlawful for Employers To Discriminate Against You Due to Your Pregnancy

You are also not required to disclose that you are pregnant to employers. However, it may be clear that you are pregnant, depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy. When that’s the case, pregnant workers often find themselves in a bind—feeling obligated to discuss the pregnancy so as not to look like they’re trying to hide something from the employer.

If that’s the case, you should know that it is unlawful for employers to decide not to hire you because you are pregnant, or make any adverse decisions about your work environment (assigning you worse shifts, pushing you out of key projects, reducing your hours without your consent) because you are pregnant.

It Is Generally Unlawful for Employers To Refuse You Accommodations for Pregnancy

If you do find yourself talking about your pregnancy in the job interview, you may want to ask the employer what accommodations they provide.

Under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, most employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees unless those accommodations would cause them an “undue hardship.”

While what constitutes an “undue hardship” can be subjective and vary from employer to employer, they do have to offer you accommodations as they would a worker with a medical condition that is not due to pregnancy. If the answer is that they do not offer accommodations at all, that is a red flag.

It Is Generally Unlawful for Employers To Refuse You Time off To Recover and Bond With Your Baby

Some employees end up discussing their pregnancy during the hiring process because they want to find out about the employer’s leave and benefits package.

However, even in this situation, you do not have to disclose or discuss your own pregnancy in order to ask questions about the employer’s benefits package, including benefits for pregnant employees. And they are not allowed to ask.

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you are entitled to as much as 12 weeks of unpaid leave to recover from pregnancy and care for a newborn—and this applies to both parents. However, this only applies to employees who have worked at least 12 months for that employer, and only for employers of a certain size. Find out more about FMLA eligibility here.

Currently, a few states require FMLA leave to be paid. In addition, some employers offer paid leave as a benefit and hiring perk. These are all things you can ask about without disclosing your pregnancy, and that employers can tell you about without asking.

Have You Faced Pregnancy Discrimination in Hiring? Speak to an Employment Attorney

If you believe you have faced discrimination in the hiring process due to your pregnancy or future pregnancy plans, you may have legal recourse. A knowledgeable Pennsylvania employment attorney can help you hold the employer accountable.

Call us at 267-273-1054 or email us at for a free, confidential consultation today.

The information provided here does not constitute legal advice. It is intended for general purposes only. If you have questions about a specific legal issue, you should speak to an attorney.