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To ask you all of your working whilst pregnant/nasty boss horror stories

(30 Posts)
Awhiteelephantintheroom Wed 05-Oct-11 20:30:09

I was telling a friend today about my experience at work when pregnant with DC1 and thought it'd be interesting to hear others' stories.

This was quite a few years ago; women did have maternity rights but not quite to the extent that they do now. Delights from my boss included:

Clearing out my desk whilst I was off sick for 3 days, giving my work to colleagues and upon my return being told I was to do filing in the filing room with the office junior. When I queried this my boss said no job was beneath me and if I didn't like it I could eff off elsewhere.

Accusing me of making all sorts of mistakes when they weren't my doing. Again, attempts to defend myself were met with "Fuck off and find another job"

Excluding me from team meetings.

Telling my colleagues that they were not to have a leaving collection for me; as a result many bought me presents and brought them round to my house once I was on maternity leave as they were told they weren't allowed to give me the presents on work property. Other team members had been given collections in the months before I left, for getting married, retirement etc and it hadn't been a problem.

I really wish I had taken my boss to court now, I was young and naive in those days and was a bit scared to do it really. Karma did bite though as a few months after I left, he was made redundant and as far as I know was unable to find a job of a similar level afterwards.

snoopdogg Wed 05-Oct-11 20:35:12

'Oh fucking hell, when we took you on I thought well, at least she's too old to go off and have kids.' On informing him of my pregnancy.

Six months in 'Fucking hell, you can't get much bigger can you?' in front of about 10 colleagues in open plan office. Excused self to colleagues, turned back to him and said 'fuck off, and if you ever fucking talk to me like that again I'll have your fucking arse in a tribunal'

Felt much better.

worldgonemad72 Wed 05-Oct-11 20:37:47

my boss said to me the other day, after id been throwing up in the ladies, you should of used contraception, shook his head and said 'another baby'. btw this baby is very much planned and wanted, i was quite upset but thats just the tip of the iceberg for where i work im afraid. I cant wait to leave.

Ineedalife Wed 05-Oct-11 20:40:16

Many years ago, as a young pregnant lifeguardgrin. I was taken off poolside as I was a health and safety risk.

and
Made to climb a ladder in the cafe to clean the windows!!!hmm

Kayano Wed 05-Oct-11 20:40:46

I am shocked at these! I thought I was hard done by waiting a couple of weeks for a risk assessment with back an leg pain but MY GOD!!! I can't believe these stories!!! shock

snoopdogg Wed 05-Oct-11 20:44:20

Ha! These are nothing! I had my first DS 21 years ago and my last 3 years ago. The difference in maternity rights is phenomenal but the difference in how we are treated by some individuals is imperceptible.

Honeydragon Wed 05-Oct-11 20:45:49

My boss got me pregnant and then called me into the office at 8 months to tell me I needed to start maternity leave two weeks later than I wanted as it was beneficial to the company financially. And worst of all, after I had had a morning off work , he inspected my shopping, pulled out my maternity knickers in the middle of his office to look at at and laughed hysterically. sad

neglects to mention her boss was her dh grin

reddaisy Wed 05-Oct-11 20:46:54

Mine isn't as shocking as the others but still horrible. DS is just a week old and already I am dreading going back to work for my boss, despite loving my job.

I worked 12 - 13 hour days without a lunch break or a thank you at the end of the shift. I wasn't forced to do it obviously but as the deputy of a department it would have been nigh on impossible to leave before the job was done each day.

He just ignored the pregnancy completely and never said congratulations or mentioned it at all. I ended up going on maternity leave two weeks early because I was exhausted.

And when my colleagues asked if the company was going to organise some flowers/card for me when DS was born, my boss replied: "No. This is her second DC and we have to draw the line somewhere!" shock

The fathers in the office all got flowers sent to them and their partners on the birth of their babies, I got nothing from the company for either child. Kind colleagues did a whip round though grin

Growlithe Wed 05-Oct-11 20:49:26

When heavily heavily pregnant I was told by a male colleague whilst he was sitting very close to me that 'the pregnant look was very alluring' shock hmm confused blush - my DH was his line manager at the time as well!!!

Allegrogirl Wed 05-Oct-11 20:50:29

I work for the NHS and moved from one NHS Trust to another. I was pregnant at the interview but didn't know as I have irregular periods and had just started the ball rolling at the infertility clinic.

New boss was already very pissed off with me as the old trust insisted on two months notice and she NEEDED me immediately. Then I told her when I was pregnant, as soon as I knew a month before I was due too start so she had longer to arrange cover.

She was a complete bully to me. Wouldn't explain how to to do the job and snapped every time I asked a question. I had terrible nausea but was scared to take time off. She had 4 babies planned by the minute with no pregnancy symptoms. I was clearly weak and 'very unusual' for being tired and sick in pregnancy.

Then she slagged me off to the office when i wasn't there so I'm told. 'Allegrogirl KNEW she pregnant when she came for the job' she thundered. I bloody didn't and it shouldn't matter anyway.

Then I asked to reduce my hours on my return and the fun really started ...

MissBeehiving Wed 05-Oct-11 20:51:27

I was made to work 24 hours from 7am to 7am without a break when I was 6 months pregnant. I got into bed the following morniong and cried because I was so tired.

My employer tried to remove part of my role when I was on maternity leave. I did point out to them the relevant law, on that one.

When I returned from mat leave, someone else had been given my room and was still there when I returned on the agreed date. Which was embarassing.

BreadCrumbsandButterBeans Wed 05-Oct-11 20:52:04

I was sacked when my boss discovered I was pregnant. His justification was that he had me at interview if I was married. Because I wasn't he assumed there was no possibility of conception.

Silly old sod said all of this to me via email whilst I was vomiting with morning sickness, so at least I was able to clear my debts from the money from the tribunal. grin

I'm being treated awfully by the company I work for. They have stopped paying me my wages because 'my maternity pay has run out' apparantly hmm even though i've only been off since april and I have a letter off them saying they would pay full wages for 39 weeks, which isn't until january!

stressheaderic Wed 05-Oct-11 20:59:07

Every single woman of childbearing age in my company is treated like absolute shit. No responsibilities, no promotions, no praise, nothing.
Pregnancies never congratulated or acknowledged. Risk assessments done reluctantly.
If you've had a child, you are worthless to the company as you're obv not committed. If your child is ill, you won't get paid even once - at boss's discretion and he never has.
All this from a supposed family man with 4 children (whose wife doesn't work).
Wish I could leave. The ironic thing is I love my job.

Allegrogirl Wed 05-Oct-11 20:59:39

I am grateful my boss wasn't able to sack me, could've been worse I guess!

She tried to discipline me for having 7 days off over 3 episodes in 6 months on my return to work. Sent me to occ health who considered 2 times throat infections and 1 x D&V to be fairly normal for a mum to a baby in nursery. And the threats of disciplinary proceedings to be bollocks.

On the plus side I got CBT to deal with the stress of working with the cow.

Iggi999 Wed 05-Oct-11 20:59:41

Full pay for 39 weeks sounds unbelievable, is that common? (I had 12 weeks before moving on to SMP)

storminabuttercup Wed 05-Oct-11 21:34:17

I lost my managerial position when I was pregnant.

Had hg, and other managers said I was slacking as just had 'a bit of morning sickness'

Other managers in my team refused to help my team with queries whilst I was being sick in the ladies, whilst a queue formed at the door.

The team was taken for a thankyou meal, I was asked to stay back to cover the office as the thankyou was for a target we hit 'when Storm spent most of the time being sick' (despite working extra hours)

I ended up leaving the role three months before due date as doctor refused to sign me fit for work!

Manager was an arse!

Dictat Wed 05-Oct-11 21:47:46

Tough one isn't it? flame me if you like, but, on the other side of the coin, I'm not sure I'd want to be a very small business having to cope with the overheads of maternity pay and temporary work placement cover, especially in today's economic climate.

foxtrottango Wed 05-Oct-11 21:48:11

I told my boss I was pregnant almost as soon as I found out. At a loss of what to do with me and reluctant to seek advice he decided to get me to clear out the basement of all the heavy, dirty items stored down there. Stupidly I did as I was asked, I was working very long shifts and was a bit shell shocked I think. I was finally moved to a different department almost 3 weeks later. 5 days after joining the department, I miscarried.

The 2 probably aren't related but I'm sure the stress and the dragging stuff about didn't help. Next time (if there is a next time) I will have a very different attitude to what type of tasks I am prepared to do!!

GeraldineAubergine Wed 05-Oct-11 21:50:28

I had the equivalent of an anaesthetic a day, exposure to radiation and formaldehyde, no risk assessment for 24 weeks, disciplinary action due to sickness and 8 hr shifts with no breaks, working with another heavily pregnant colleague in my job.

JeelyPiece Wed 05-Oct-11 21:58:49

These stories are awful, shows how far women still have to go before they can safely assume they will not lose out in the workplace by having babies.

Dictat maternity pay is reimbursed by the government. Small companies do not have to bear the cost of it.

smelli Wed 05-Oct-11 22:01:32

When our PA (25, in a long term relationship) told my boss she was pregnant, the boss asked if she was going to keep it. I still feel dumbstruck when I think about it.

youarekidding Wed 05-Oct-11 22:16:06

I was asked to do a 3 hour (roadworks on single road) round trip to the main office when 7 1/2 months PG to get some paperwork for me, and collegues at another 'office'. It was my lunchbreak. (abroad so siesta type break). The main office I went to is 10 minutes from the other office and my boss could have taken the stuff there as I lived in that village.

When I broke down, tired, hungry and hot a collegue asked if I was OK. My boss replied 'of course she is, she's just pregnant if you haven't heard her mention it.' angry

Needless to say the 'big' manager threatened him with gross misconduct. (well that was a good thing!)

shock at some of the stories here.

whackamole Wed 05-Oct-11 22:23:14

I am really shocked at these stories!

I have none, my work bent over backwards to accommodate me (and have for every pregnant woman I have seen). I'm not sure why, maybe combination of working for a multi-national company with a union; having mostly male bosses but mostly female staff?

diggingintheribs Wed 05-Oct-11 22:32:11

Wow - these are bad! My boss was fab both times luckily

However, when pregnant with my first an old fashioned colleague had a rant about how pregnant wmen should have to reapply for their jobs blah blah blah and another colleague agreed

I had a strop and stormed off shouting that may be I should go and have a late term abortion (was very hormonal). they were sheepish after that but I pushed myself too much after that to prove I wasn't slacking off and that was a mistake

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