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Am I being discriminated against?

(10 Posts)
sidthekid Sat 06-Aug-11 09:06:47

I started a new job back in February, which is really busy and at times can be very stressful. When I found out I was pregnant in June, everything got a bit too much for me so I had to speak to my boss to ask her to look at my workload and to try to take some of the pressure off me. Since then, things have really improved, and actually now that I'm past the first trimester and don't feel so sick and tired all of the time I'm much happier and feel like I'm coping well again!
However, my boss took me to one side last week and said that as we are about to get a new team leader who is apparently going to be very demanding, she is concerned that I'm not going to be able to cope because of my pregnancy. She has offered me the chance to move into another job, which I don't really want to do. Am I being discriminated against? I feel like I'm being a drama queen because my boss does seem to have my best interests in mind, but part of me feels like I'm only being treated this way because I am pregnant and because I showed a moment of 'weakness' by asking for help before. It also sounds like she thinks that the new team leader definitely WILL discriminate me for being pregnant, but instead of dealing with this when it arises they'd rather just force me out of a job that I enjoy and into another one I don't want to do.
I don't feel like I'm being given any choice in this matter, it's like I'm expected to move and that's that. The stupid thing is I wasn't feeling stressed at all until this was mentioned to me, and now I feel worse than I have done in weeks! Grateful for any advice anyone can give me?!

AMumInScotland Sat 06-Aug-11 10:05:06

Do you feel you are up to the job, even if the new team leader is demanding? If so, tell your boss "Thanks, but I'm fine now and raring to get back to full capacity".

If you don't feel you're up to it, why not accept a move to a job you can manage? I don't think you're being discriminated against - you are going to be treated the same as everyone else, and they are offering an alternative if you are not fit for that.

flowery Sat 06-Aug-11 10:27:56

You say you have been 'offered the chance' then later you say you feel you are not being given a choice. Which is it? When you said to your boss that you feel you are coping fine now, feel happy staying in your current job and will bring any concerns to the relevant person's attention if they arise, what did she say?

Or have you not said that yet..?

sidthekid Sat 06-Aug-11 10:53:25

Mum in Scotland - the point is, until the new team leader starts, how am I supposed to know if I will be up to working with them or not? There hasn't been the suggestion that anyone else in the team won't be up to it, and no one else has been asked to move. Only me and only because they are 'worried' I won't be able to cope because I am pregnant.

Flowery - they said it was my choice, but then followed up by saying they've already potentially lined up someone to replace me and that the new team leader really wants to have someone from our other office (where this person works) on the team. So it is technically my choice but I feel like they are expecting me to go. I did say I was happy in the job and felt that I was coping fine again now, the response was it will be getting busier and I might start struggling again (which is a fair point, but surely it's for me to say if I can't cope, rather than them just deciding that it's going to happen without even letting me try).

AMumInScotland Sat 06-Aug-11 11:44:53

Well, they're worried about you specifically because earlier in the pregnancy you told them you weren't up to the normal workload for your team. And they don't know if you are better now, and if you will continue to be better for the remainder of your pregnancy.

Do you think you are back up to the usual workload for your team? If so, then I think you just have to tell your manager that, and that you are happy to go back up to the normal full workload.

The fact that they have lined someone else up doesn't mean they intend to force you out, just that they are planning for a risk which they believe may exist - that's one of the things managers are expectd to do - to see where there could potentially be a problem and make plans to reduce the impact. That doesn't mean they will force you out of the post "just in case".

If you are clear in your on mind that you are back up to "normal" then say you do not wish to move to another post, and just keep saying that clearly and plainly to them.

flowery Sat 06-Aug-11 18:17:05

So how has it been left? You've said no to the move? If they forcibly move you that's something else, but if they don't intend to forcibly move you there's no discrimination that I can see at present. At the moment it sounds like concern for you on the part of your boss, rather than discrimination against you. It will be a case of seeing how the new manager behaves when she arrives - it may be that the current manager thinks the new manager will discriminate and is trying to 'save' you from that situation.

If you're sure you don't want to move, reiterate that to your boss, say you appreciate the concern however you will be staying where you are and are confident you will be able to contribute fully to the team. Then see how it goes with the new team leader.

glimmer Sun 07-Aug-11 06:16:07

I bind it a bit fishy that their are already considering another person.
Sounds to me like the new team leaders want somebody from the other office and they are thinking you might be interested in the other job for personal reasons and it could be a good match. If you want to stay, tell them clearly.

Richlinn Sun 07-Aug-11 14:47:11

You are not being discriminated against.

Politixmum Sun 07-Aug-11 16:10:47

I think if the current boss said you have to change jobs because of your pregnancy, you probably are being discriminated against. However, rather than rushing off to take out a discrimination case, maybe take a deep breath and consider if your boss is just giving you a chance to think over some options, rather than push you into something?
You should definitely consult a union, as even if there is nothing in it, their expert advice and support would be helpful to you.

msrisotto Sun 07-Aug-11 16:15:49

You're not going to be pregnant forever! This is temporary, moving jobs is not temporary, unless specified.

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