Comments About My Weight While Pregnant

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a boss’s comments about weight: Pregnant and My boss, a male, has been making “chunky girl” comments lately in regards to me as I am obviously gaining weight (18 lbs in 26 wks).

Since starting my job a year ago, I have become pregnant. My boss, a male, has been making “chunky girl” comments lately in regards to me as I am obviously gaining weight (18 lbs in 26 wks). I am not sure how long I should tolerate this, as I feel it is completely inappropriate. I need and like my job. I feel stuck to make comment or mention disliking of it, as I do not want to jeopardize my position.

Signed, Resent the Remarks

Dear Resent the Remarks:

Those remarks are inappropriate and would certainly be stopped by those above your boss, if there is someone at that level.He has no way of knowing whether or not you have a serious health issue and it’s rude, mean and a bit vicious and mean-spirited for him to make such comments.

You may also have a basis for a gender-based harassment complaint under EEO regulations. You should check with your state EEOC or federal offices (or websites) or with an attorney.If you don’t want to say anything to anyone because you are worried about your job, there may be nothing you can do to stop it. But, you could perhaps say enough to let your boss know you don’t like the remarks.

The next time he makes a remark, look at him seriously and say, “Jim, you may be intending to joke about it, but it really makes me feel bad to have you say things like that. I can’t help the health issues that are causing me to gain weight during this pregnancy and I’m worried enough, without you teasing me about it. OK?”Let him think he has inadvertently stumbled onto a more serious concern. It will be good for him to feel guilty about it! If that or similar direct remarks don’t work, you’ll have to decide whether to tolerate it or go to the HR section or a person over your boss, or to an attorney.

I hope you don’t decide to tolerate it!Be careful that you don’t joke as well. If you joke about it, even in self-defense, he may think it’s OK with you.If you have friends at work who are aware of this, ask them to support you by not joining in with the joking remarks and to let the boss know it’s too much and not funny. However, until you say something to him or to someone above him, he probably will think he’s showing hearty good humor with his remarks. If he usually is a good person and has never caused you problems you may want to accept it as simply poor judgment on his part. But, I still think he should be stopped.Best wishes with this situation.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.