Post # 1
The title is basically it. Ever since I got engaged, my boss has been making comments that he hopes I don’t get pregnant. Like today in our meeting I said “I have some exciting news” and he immediately said “oh god I hope you’re not pregnant. That wouldn’t be exciting”. I’m not pregnant and I don’t have any plans to be anytime soon. I haven’t told him this because it’s none of his business. He’s also made comments about how my fiance and I don’t need to buy a house when we get married, renting a one bedroom apartment is fine for 2 people. My initial instinct is that he doesn’t want to have to replace me and that he doesn’t want to pay me more money, but these comments are annoying and intrusive. On top of all of this, his wife just found out she’s pregnant and she just quit her job to stay at home. I’m assuming this has something to do with it. Our company is small and I’m basically the HR department so I don’t really know how to handle these comments. Should I just ignore them? I’m worried that one day if I am pregnant, I’ll be scared to let him know. I feel like he had hoped I would just remain single for the rest of my life and just work for him, but now that I’m getting married, I’ll have other priorities. This is mostly a vent, but advice is also appreciated.
Post # 2
I have no idea how to handle these types of situations. I had a similar thing happen to me with my boss. She overheard someone congratulating me on my engagement and said, “What’s the congratulations for? Oh God, you’re not pregnant are you?”
People are so rude.
Post # 3
I guess it depends on your relationship with him and how well you get along otherwise. I would probably just start with a chat that says “It is nice to know my work around here is appreciated, but I feel really uncomfortable when you make commentary about my private life, such as any decisions I may or may not make regarding home buying or pregnancy.”
See how his initial response is to that and evaluate how formal you need to take your complaint beyond that if he is argumentative about it or continues to do it. Document it for your own records so that if it escalates to a more formal written request or you need to file a complaint somewhere you have documentation of trying to resolve it yourself first.
Post # 4
I always like a big smile, followed by a cheeful “Woah! We can’t say that in the work place these days!” Since you are HR, you might even be able to say something kindly, and privately, like “Hey Jerry– I just wanted to grab you about something. The comments about my pregancy– if you said something like that to another employee, it could get us in to legal trouble. I don’t mean to make you feel uncomfortable, but I would hate to see this become an issue with anyone down the road.”
Post # 5
Pregnancy, whether you are or not pregnant, is a protected class. He better STFU or he’s looking at a lawsuit one day.
Post # 6
kristin36890 : Ask him if he’s pregnant or if he’s just a burrito for lunch
Post # 7
kristin36890 : 100% INAPPROPRIATE AND RUDE AS FUCK
Read Ask a Manager’s post: http://www.askamanager.org/2017/08/my-boss-worries-ill-get-pregnant-i-accused-my-husbands-coworkers-of-sleeping-with-him-and-more.html
These might not 100% match your case, but you can get some ideas of how to speak to your boss should he make any future comments to you.
Who does your boss report to if you are basically HR? You need to speak with someone about these comments, how inappropriate there are, it’s not related to your work, your life choices are not something he should comment on, especially because you never asked for his opinion.
I would also recommend even emailing Ask a Manager for advice.
Post # 8
My boss first started becoming concerned about “rescourcing” three years ago when I got engaged. We’re a small company and my boss is one of the owners so while the suggestions above are probably the right way to handle things, they woulnd’t go down well. I mainly either ignore him or make a comment about how he’s so far spent three years worrying for nothing (this resulted in him backpedalling completely and saying that kids are marvellous and I should actually get on with it…confusing). I’m not particularly worried about it because when the time comes I’ll tell him and he’ll have to just deal. He doesn’t need to be thrilled.
Post # 9
My boss made similar comments to me. He has two kids and the young one has issues with sleep so he was saying it’s really difficult and told me that I should definitely wait before having kids (I’m actually pregnant … haven’t told him yet). I just smiled.
That’s what I’d do in your situation honestly, I’d just smile and nod.
I’ll be telling my boss soon that I’m pregnant and he’ll have to deal with it, whether he likes it or not. His opinions make no impact on my decisions.
Post # 10
I would probably try to get another job before you get pregnant…
Post # 11
I’m not sure what he’s implying, but he cannot fire you if you ever do get pregnant. It is against the law to discriminate against pregnant women. If his comments are making you uncomfortable, I would try to talk to him or SOMEONE in the workplace about it. He is out of line and crossing a personal boundary with those comments. I’m not entirely sure, but could that even be considered a form of harassment?
Definition of Pregnancy Discrimination:
“Pregnancy discrimination involves treating a woman (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.”
^^ He needs to be very careful with those comments towards anyone. He might find himself in a lot of trouble. The way he is behaving nearly matches that definition.
Post # 12
I would just be direct. Wait till the next time he says something about it and say “boss your comments about my hypothetical pregnancy are wildly inappropriate and make me extremely uncomfortable. Please mind your own business.”
Post # 13
I find just saying, “No, but we are practising all the time” is enough to shut down most rude inquiries.
Won’t work with a boss, but I always wanted to say “Here’s my gynaecologist’s phone number. HIPAA is going to be a bitch, but do what you need to do to get the answers you need, okay?” or “Wow! I can’t believe you just said that out loud to a stranger! It’s so weird how you don’t have manners!” and my Darling Husband suggested “How did your face get so wrinkly? I’m rude? I’m sorry, I thought we were asking inappropriate questions based on each other’s bodies.”
Post # 14
What are the normal protocals for dealing with harassment and discrimination at your workplace since you are basically HR? Next time he said something like that, I’d say WOAH THERE! Inappropriate talk for the office! You need to call it out.
Post # 15
- Wedding: March 2017 - Nepal
kristin36890 : My boss has expressed this “fear” to me multiple times since I began working for him 2.5 years ago. I’m pretty sure he would be more accepting if I drove his Ferrari into a wall than if I told him I was pregnant. While yes it is ridiculous, this is why I do not discuss my private life at all with him. I didn’t even tell him I was getting married until two months after the fact and only because our wedding started getting media attention so I felt I needed to tell him before he heard it elsewhere. When the topic of pregnancy would come up, I would tell him that I’m enjoying my life as is, work is my focus and children are not in my forseeable future. This is all very true and the topic hasn’t been mentioned in a while. Moving forward you should keep your personal life on a need-to-know basis with him. Your housing situation, financial objectives, family plans, etc. are none of his business. The next time he makes a pregnancy comment be assertive and tell him that having a child is not on your radar. I suppose in some screwed up way this is a compliment because he obviously values you as an employee and fears you will leave.