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Pregnant? Don't forget to tell your boss

Finding out you are pregnant can be an overwhelming experience for any woman. Immediately, you can feel a rush of emotions from excitement and joy to fear and anxiety. These and countless other emotions will ebb and flow as your pregnancy progresses.

For many women, the fear and anxiety comes when they start thinking about how their jobs will be affected by the pregnancy and the birth of a child. Some women may be so nervous about keeping their jobs or pursuing new projects and promotions that they avoid or delay telling their boss about their pregnancy. However, there is at least one good reason why you won't want to wait too long to inform your supervisor of your pregnancy: to protect your rights.

Pregnant employees in New York are protected from discrimination, as pregnancy is considered a type of disability. This means that you cannot be subjected to unjust treatment because of your condition. Under the law, most employees are protected from being fired, demoted, denied reasonable accommodations or otherwise mistreated because of pregnancy.

Now, let's consider a situation where you hold off on telling your boss because you feel like doing so will make him or her upset or lead to some unpleasant or unexpected discussions. You do, however, tell your co-worker who tells another co-worker and before long, the news has reached your boss.

If this happens, your employer is under no obligation to comply with pregnancy discrimination laws because you have not formally informed them of your condition. You could therefore be fired, relocated, demoted or denied certain opportunities without it being considered pregnancy discrimination.

There is so much to think about when it comes to being pregnant; being mistreated on the job should not be a concern. Unfortunately for many women, it is a very real problem that they must deal with. Rather than trying to figure out your rights and assess your legal options alone during such a chaotic time, you can work with an attorney to make sure your rights - and your future - are protected.

Source: nymag.com, "How to Tell Your Boss You're Pregnant," Laura June, March 9, 2016

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