Q. I just recently started a new job (about five weeks ago). I love my job and don't plan on leaving. The other day I found out that I am pregnant and I am now worried about how to tell my boss. I am excited about the pregnancy and I am not sure how my boss will take the news. I am also concerned about not being eligible for FMLA (The Family and Medical Leave Act). Do you have any suggestions for how I can handle this situation?
A. Since you are newly pregnant, you have plenty of time to tell your employer. You could even wait until you begin to show, which may not be for several months. At a minimum, I think you should at least wait until you are into the second trimester when it is statistically a "safer time." I'm not saying that you will miscarry, but the odds of miscarriage are greater in the first trimester.
If you work for a large company and are eligible for any type of health insurance, then you can request a copy of your insurance plan. This should include information and terms of maternity leave. If you have any questions, you can contact the health care provider directly without your boss' knowledge.
If you work for a small business and do not have any type of health care plan, then you may have to wait to broach the subject of the maternity leave.
When you do tell your employer, you should already have a clear idea of what you would like your plan to be after the baby is born. Are you going to continue working? How much maternity time would you like to have? Would you like to slowly return to the office environment, perhaps by starting part-time? Of course you may not get everything you request, but starting with an ideal plan is the best way to negotiate the process.