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Boss recommended not to try for a baby again after MMC this year otherwise it will effect my career!!!

(21 Posts)
Figaro82 Fri 15-Jul-11 20:03:24

I am in shock and can't stop crying!!

I had a MMC in April after a very difficult 12 weeks of pregnancy. I had really bad morning sickness and some bleeding. I had 5 days off sick before my MMC, however I know I was no where near on form!! I then had 2.5 weeks after MMC due to an infection after ERPC and recovery time.

I met with my boss today for my half year review. I knew my performance had not been good, but I was totally shocked with the lack of empathy from my 'female' boss. I was told that my pregnancy had impacted on my work and that I had taken to much time off, which had impacted on my team (I am a Bank Manager!). She then suggested that I wait till next year before trying again so that I can focus on my job and turning my performance around.

I burst into tears, which is probably down to my AF arriving the other day (we have started trying again). I asked her to end the meeting, grabbed my bag and left. Cried all the way home!!

I can't believe this has been said to me. I have written it all down and will be reporting it, but it does not take the hurt away.

Oh and I want a baby more then a job working for someone like that!!

Sorry for the rant!!!

girliefriend Fri 15-Jul-11 20:07:52

omg that sounds awful, I'm not surprised you are so upset. There is no way she can dictate that kind of crap to you or anyone, def put a formal complaint in. <hug>

SybilBeddows Fri 15-Jul-11 20:10:26

on the plus side, at least she actually said it out loud instead of just thinking it but not saying anything, as so many bosses do - this was stupid and naive of her and could (I hope) get her into trouble.
well done for writing it down.

thelittlefriend Fri 15-Jul-11 20:17:37

that sounds so awful, I hope you get lots of support from the department you report her to. If not, make sure you get advice from Citizens Advice

digitalgirl Fri 15-Jul-11 20:18:31

You poor thing. I'm not surprised you feel this way.

I have had 4 miscarriages over the last couple of years so I understand how awful it can be trying to put on a brave face at work while inside you're an emotional wreck.

First of all, your boss has overstepped the mark. It is completely unacceptable for her to use your pregnancy and miscarriage as ammunition for a negative appraisal. If anything this shows how completely unsupportive she has been as your manager. If your performance was suffering as a result of everything you've been through (only natural) then as your boss she should have supported you by either giving you time off or lightening the load of responsibility.
So she has really shown herself up as inadequate and you have plenty to go to hr with as part of a discrimination case.

As for advising you on your future performance being dependent on whether you get pregnant or not - well this is clear discrimination and she is in very dangerous territory.

I'm so sorry that you're having to deal with this on top of your loss. It's unbelievable how completely inept people can be - if you had lost a husband or a young child you can bet that hr would be coming down on this woman like a tonne of bricks. I hope you have plenty of rl support at home to help you through this.

Figaro82 Fri 15-Jul-11 20:20:52

She was actually very supportive when I lost the baby, but I think she thinks I am over it sad. Im good at pretending I am OK.

I have a feeling that she is passing on a message from her boss. A friendly warning! No excuse though and does not make it less painful.

I need to protect myself for when I want to come back to work after having a baby (and before), so I have to take it further.

Thanks for the support!

Figaro82 Fri 15-Jul-11 20:24:14

Thanks Digital. I know my performance did suffer because of my pregnancy/loss but there was nothing I could do about it. I did not get further support, although my boss was understanding at the time.

I have not told my DP yet as he is away, but he will go mad when he finds out.

I might try Citizens Advice - thanks Little Friend

CrapolaDeVille Fri 15-Jul-11 20:25:52

I look forward to your huge settlement that affords you a massive maternity leave when you next conceive. No win no fee solicitors if you can't afford to pay.

Figaro82 Fri 15-Jul-11 20:26:12

Meant to say Digital - so sorry for your losses x

Pipbin Sat 16-Jul-11 21:17:58

I think that it counts as sexual discrimination.
Are you in a union? It's worth talking to them if you are. If not, join one, they always have your back in situations like this.

Also I would go to HR. I don't think they would be very impressed.

I do hate they way that woman are encouraged into the workplace and treated as equals, but we have to keep it quiet that we are TTC.

Minshu Sat 16-Jul-11 22:45:17

"I have a feeling that she is passing on a message from her boss. A friendly warning! No excuse though and does not make it less painful."

FFS - I am a boss working for other bosses and would never pass on a message like that! Don't let her think she can get away with just doing what the management are telling her - that really is the thin end of the wedge! She needs to develop the balls to stand up for her team.

I am sorry for the horrible situation you are in and that you are not getting adequate support from work. I hope that you get a better result after reporting this.

willitbe Sun 17-Jul-11 09:01:46

So sorry for your loss, the pain is hard sometimes to deal with, it is made worse by insensitive people around.

Your boss has definitely broken the law in what she said, it is sexual discrimination. If she has written it in her report, then you will definitely be able to take her and the company to court. Unfortunately it will need to be proven that she said it. If she says now that she did not say it, it is your word against hers. That does not mean that you don't have a case, just that it will be more difficult to prove that she actually said it.

As others have said here, do go to a no win no fee solicitor, the first visit is normally free and they will be able to tell you whether you have a case.

In terms of how you are feeling, do consider getting some councelling, I waited til I had had several m/c's before going to talk to someone. I think that it would have been better for me to have gone before. Next time you are pregnant it will be stressful and having someone to talk with can help.

I hope that you get a full apology from your boss and that you have a full and healthy pregnancy really soon.

eurochick Sun 17-Jul-11 10:46:09

Completely unacceptable and illegal sexual discrimination. You need to speak to HR so this is noted. Is it feasible within your organisation to have your line manager changed?

Unless you want to leave the job, I wouldn't agree with the suggestion to go to a solicitor. The only thing the will tell you to do is leave the job and claim for constructive dismissal. This will be a very stressful process and will mean you are out of a job. By all means speak to CAB to get some advice but suing is unlikely to help you in any way.

Figaro82 Sun 17-Jul-11 10:57:59

Thanks everyone.

Pipbin - I am part of a union and I have already arranged to meet someone on Tuesday.

Minshu -Your comment reminded me of a situation I was put in last year. I manage a team of 35 with 5 managers reporting into me. One of my team is waiting for a kidney transplant and works short days 3 days per week as she has dialysis in the afternoon. She is paid full time hours whilst this is going on and the hours not worked are input as sick leave. This will go on until she has a transplant. It has a big impact on our business, but we want to do everything to support her as she is incredibly loyal and needs our support. Last year the powers above told me that they were going to move her to a smaller branch further away from where she lived. It would have had a big impact on the branch they wanted to move her too as they could not cope when she left early (I manage a big branch so it does not have as big of an impact) and it would have meant she would have had to travel further and put her under pressure when she did not need any further pressure in her life. When I was asked to do this, I did not even speak with the member of staff. I refused to send her as it was the wrong decision to make for her and explained she needed our support. Thankfully they (eventually) listened to me and did not move her. I told the member of staff after and she was so grateful.

I think I will be reminding my boss of this as it was her who had asked me to move her. Your right Minshu, she should have had the balls to fight for me unless she believes in what she said.

Willitbe - I am going to go through HR first. My friend is a criminal lawyer and she has advised to get the ball rolling at work first before going outside the company. My review has not been written up yet and I doubt very much anything will be written down.

My boss has tried to call me over the weekend, which I have ignored. She has also emailed asking to meet on Monday, nothing more then that though in writing! I think she is being careful, but I will keep all emails anyway.

Sorry for such a long email! Your comments really help everyone. I feel utterly pants. To top it off I watched Marly and Me last night and had forgotten that there is a bit in the film where they have a scan and find out the baby has no heartbeat. Thats what happened to me and it set me off big time!!! x

Figaro82 Sun 17-Jul-11 11:01:09

Eurochick - I cant change line manager, but I may be ask to be moved to another branch at some point. I am ready to move on anyway, so it could work to my advantage. I don't want to leave, i love my job and I could not do with the stress of finding a new job when a baby is a million times more important to me!

I dont want to create a fuss, however as I said earlier I have to protect myself.

ShimmeryPixie Sun 17-Jul-11 11:25:15

Figaro I'm sorry about your MC and that your boss is being like this. Her comments were in no way appropriate and it's good that you have recorded everything (I recommend emailing it to yourself as then you get a time and date stamp). You are being very sensible and you are right - you do have to protect yourself.

Sending my support.

Figaro82 Sun 17-Jul-11 12:20:25

Thanks for the email tip Shimmery! Have done that now!

I am dreading work tomorrow sad

willitbe Sun 17-Jul-11 16:51:24

Do take a dictaphone/voice recorder to work, if you are asked to meet your boss alone, then you can record your discussion. This should act to stop your boss making any more comments to hurt you, if it does not, then you will have a copy to play to HR at a later stage. I am sorry that you are dreading work due to this boss' comments. sad

Pipbin Sun 17-Jul-11 18:36:41

Further to what willitbe said many mobile phones now have voice recorders.

Patiencedeficit Sun 17-Jul-11 20:48:05

Figaro82 - although your bosses comments may not have been wholly appropriate take a big step back, put your emotions aside and think very carefully about the message she was trying to give you. Honestly I believe she has a point.
I am also ttc and had a mc in March. I was devastated and told my boss to let her know that if my performance at work had been affected that there was a very good reason. Obviously your boss cannot tell you what to do, and you are right to note the comments in case there is any adverse impact on your career, but don't take it personally.
Let your boss have a chance to tell you what she has been trying to call you about.

Ilovekittyelise Mon 18-Jul-11 23:22:40

Having been in a similar situation I know how you feel. I think.

I whole-heartedly agree that your boss has spoken to you in a discriminatory way and that to judge you as under-performing as a result of an isolated period of difficulty due to circumstances outside of your control is not fair. On this point i think you are right to record and make note of all dialogue.

That said, having been in the situation myself, and having knowingly put less into my work than I should have at the time, its a fact, I didn't do myself any favours. my bosses were understanding, and it didnt cause me a problem in what i was doing (ie no-one ever said i was 'under-performing' and i was given reasonable leaway and understanding, unlike you), but in reality i did not make progress in my career that i would otherwise have done. progress that i have worked very hard towards. thats not anyone being discriminatory towards me, thats me not doing enough to prove i was worthy of promotion, and circumstances are kind of irrelevant in that position, getting promoted is tough, and sometimes you need to be able to single-mindedly shut out all things personal and be totally ruthless in your pursuit of it. i wasnt.

i guess my point is, there is a line. an employer has a duty to being understanding and to get that such events are going to have a short term impact on your ability to perform in your current role (and i really dont think your employer has been reasonable and understanding here), but however painful and awful the situation is, i think as women we always have to be aware that these things can and do have an impact on our careers and unfortunately its just one of those awful situations where we have to be as strong as we can to minimise the negative effects rippling across our lives as a whole. i hate the idea of gender stereotypes and all that stuff, but i think its a fact: men and women handle these things differently. at the time all this was going on my husband made considerable progress at work, whilst i was basically a bit bloody useless!

im sorry you are going through such a difficult time. i think this whole journey of ttc and pregnancy is a really difficult time for women in terms of our identity and role with regards to career, and it's particularly hard when things go wrong.

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