Asked Too Much About OB Leave Date

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about expected birth date:

Is it legal for employers/supervisors to constantly ask when your OB DR. will be restricting your work or “putting you out”.

Signed, Tired of being asked

Dear Tired of being asked:

It would be frustrating to be asked frequently about your leave date, but it is not illegal unless some aspect of it is a violation of EEO laws regarding making your work life harassing, clearly based on your gender or pregnancy status.perhaps you can lessen the asking somewhat. Get a letter that states exactly when you will be likely to leave. Don’t rely on your verbal statements, instead get the letter. Have your doctor put in the letter what work restrictions you’ll have before then, if any.Then, submit the letter and explain how frustrating it is to be asked over and over about it. Say that you will be working right until you need to leave.If you have already submitted such a letter, ask if there’s a reason they keep discussing it with you.

They may be worried about training someone to replace you temporarily. They may think you appear to be ready to leave. They may think you aren’t working to the level required. That is often the case in maternity situations, when the woman involved slows down her work dramatically for months ahead of time. The paycheck is still there and the work still has to be done. But, if that’s not the case in your situation, it seems you should openly express that and find out what is causing the extreme questioning.

If you have an HR department ask them about it.The bottom line is that you can be asked about your dates for maternity leave for a valid job reason. You can even be asked repeatedly. That’s assuming you’re not being asked several times a day by the same person. Try to eliminate the reasons to keep asking. If that doesn’t work find someone in your organization who can support you in getting the excessive questioning stopped.Communicate openly and helpfully about it and be the kind of employee who is supported now and when you return as well.

Tina Lewis Rowe