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Manager trying to "persuade" me to tell him if I am pregnant- Is this legal?

(23 Posts)
lilymolly Sat 19-Jul-08 13:10:49

Hi 6 weeks pregnant with baby no 2 and already have a large belly, boobs and family say I look pregnant.
I have not even been to see a midwife let alone have a scan and was this weeek at a conferance in London with the entire salesforce from the UK plus all management.

A few rumours flew around mainly because I was not drinking and my boobs are big hmm
I quashed them, but did tell a few close collegues who I trust not to tell.

On Thursday night- we where at a dinner and I was not drinking and my manager really probed me as to why I was not drinking- I told him I was on a diet and was not bothered about a drink as we where up early the following morning for work.

The next day he took me to one side and the conversation went like this

M: I want to ask you about you health and wellbeing- how are you?

Me: I am fine thanks why?

M: There are a few rumours flying around

Me: what kind of rumours?

M: About your health

Me: (pushing the issue as I was pissed off)- what rumours? I am fine, no problems and I am very well thaks

M: That you are expecting.....Are you?

Me: No I am not

M: You would tell me though wouldnt you?

Me: Well no actually Its up to me to tell you if and when I am- its my decision to make

M: Well you need to tell me so I can look after your health and safety shock

Me: I am fine and I dont want to discuss this anymore.

My job is in sales, does not involve any risk.My performance has not changed over the last few weeks and I am NOT ready to tell them yet.

I was sooooooo angry with him- I feel that he was pushing me into telling me something which I was not comfortable sharing.
If I wanted to tell him, I had had 2 days previous to share this and obv chose to keep schtum.
I do not have a personal relationship and dont feel comfortable about telling him this early.

Should I say something?

I work from home, so wont bump into him in an office- I am so mad about this
Please advise

lilymolly Sat 19-Jul-08 13:12:09

Meant to say: personal relationship with him

posieflump Sat 19-Jul-08 13:15:23

Well I can see your point and as you work from home I can't see the H&S issue but as he is your boss I would have told the truth and said you wanted to keep it quiet until the 12 wk scan.

lilymolly Sat 19-Jul-08 13:19:55

But- what right does he have to know?

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Sat 19-Jul-08 13:20:31

If I had the same sort of relationship with my boss as you do I would have said exactly the same thing.

posieflump Sat 19-Jul-08 13:21:50

he doesn't have a right to know at all
I'm thinking of your future relatinship with him
What will you say when you are 12 wks - 'oh by the way when I told you I wasn't pregnant I actually was'

Rowlers Sat 19-Jul-08 13:23:03

He is out of order.
It is up to you to tell him when you are ready, especially as you are in the very early stages.
Is he the overall boss or is there someone above him?
If so, I would complain to his boss about hsi behaviour.

lilymolly Sat 19-Jul-08 13:23:45

I will tell him
"I have now had the pregnancy confirmed- everything is normal, I am now comfortable telling you and I am informing you of my intention to leave work for 1 year starting in Feb 09"

I think that is fair and reasonable

Carmenere Sat 19-Jul-08 13:25:49

I would have said, 'even if I was pregnant, I wouldn't tell anyone because it is ill advised to tell until after 12 weeks' as that gives you an out; it gets rid of him and you are not lying and you are explaining why you don't want to talk about it.

MadamAnt Sat 19-Jul-08 13:27:28

He has absolutely no right to know, and it was out of order for him to push you on the subject. I'm not entirely sure if it was illegal per se, as long as he does not start treating you differently (in a negative way) because of his suspicions.

And when the time comes for you to tell him out of your own volition, you can make it very clear to him that he made you uncomfortable by interrogating you early on. Anyone with an ounce of social skills knows that many people choose to keep quiet about early pregnancy for many reasons.

Heated Sat 19-Jul-08 13:27:47

A lot of women wait until their 12/13 week scan before telling work. If there was a more senior person I'd inform them!

MadamAnt Sat 19-Jul-08 13:28:20

Yes, that's a good answer Carmenere.

lilymolly Sat 19-Jul-08 14:17:14

Madam he has NO social skillls and he is a sales manager shock

flowerybeanbag Sat 19-Jul-08 14:50:14

He doesn't have any right to know at this stage, no. He does have a point about the health and safety although you seem sure this isn't an issue for you.

I have to say in your situation where there are rumours going round and some colleagues do know, I would have probably told him but asked him to keep it quiet. Having your direct boss know can be quite handy if you are feeling off colour, are very tired and sick a lot, as lots of people are during early pregnancy. Having their knowledge and support should you need it can be useful.

But obviously that depends on your relationship and if you don't feel comfortable him knowing for whatever reason, then you are not obliged to tell him.

lilymolly Sun 20-Jul-08 11:21:08

anyone else?

plantsitter Sun 20-Jul-08 11:27:49

I think you're absolutely right that he had no business grilling you like that, and that you're perfectly entitled not to say anything.

However, maybe I'm a bit paranoid but I probably would have told him purely because anything that happens and anything anyone does/says after that is a clear cut case of discrimination. At the moment if redundancies came up he could select you, claiming not to know you are pregnant. Don't mean to worry you. Sure it won't happen. That's just my 'worst case scenario gloomy prospect' opinion.

flowerybeanbag Sun 20-Jul-08 14:55:19

I don't think anything that happens or anything anyone does or says after knowing someone is pregnant is clear cut discrimination at all. Similarly, if there was a redundancy situation, lilymolly could be picked even if people did know she was pregnant, although they might be more careful about doing so.

Is there something you are still not clear/sure about lilymolly?

plantsitter Sun 20-Jul-08 15:14:26

Was not trying to give expert advice. Just pointing out that your boss suspecting you are pregnant and being told you're not puts you in a different situation from your boss being informed you are. Appreciate flowerybeanbag is in a better position to give professional advice.

flowerybeanbag Sun 20-Jul-08 16:34:08

I do agree that if a woman is feeling in a vulnerable position at work for whatever reason, having a pregnancy more widely known might make her feel slightly more secure and better-protected.

lilymolly Sun 20-Jul-08 16:56:24

Dont feel vulnerable at all- quite the opposite

I am just enraged as he had the audacity to confront me- he should have told people to stop spreading rumours and to respect my privacy and to wait until I was comfortable to discuss these personal issues with him.
He prides himself on being a personal coach and trainer hmm Quite frankly he has fucked me off and totally misjudged the situation

flowerybeanbag Sun 20-Jul-08 16:59:38

lilymolly have you considered saying exactly that to him? I agree absolutely that's what he should be doing, why not say that to him upfront? Worth a thought.

lilymolly Sun 20-Jul-08 17:02:48

Actually thats what I was thinking- just needing some reassurance from other.

Last time I was pregnant with same company I loved my boss and told him straight away as I was comfortable with him.
However this one makes my skin crawl and I dont want to tell him until after the 12 week scan.

flowerybeanbag Sun 20-Jul-08 19:04:07

I know what you mean but you have to consider what you want to achieve out of this less-than-ideal situation.

If you tell him, but say you are disappointed in his attitude, and disappointed to feel you have to tell him so soon, you will embarass him and hopefully shame him into being supportive in terms of dealing with rumours etc until you are ready to tell people generally.

Not ideal, but as you say, you are not comfortable with him as it is, may as well get him to at least feel embarassed and be a bit helpful.

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