Tuesday, March 21, 2023
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I turned down the job because of the interviewer’s question

Dear Amy: I am a recently married woman in my mid twenties, looking for a new job.

Recently, during a private school interview, I was asked about my pregnancy plans. The question was whether I had a “plan to balance kids and work.”

I said coolly, “My husband and I have talked about it and we’re not worried.”

I was offered the job but didn’t take it because of that demand, as well as a “no pants” policy for women.

When I told the company I was turning down the job, I told them my reasons and included a link to the EEOC on pregnancy discrimination, which included a recommendation to not ask that question in interviews. They responded with a general answer and wished me well in the future.

Was there a better way to handle it?


Specifications: A “no pants” policy? Wouldn’t that upset the kids? (I thought only TV presenters could get away with going “no pants” at work.)

On a side note, your choice to decline this feature was clearly a good one. Your follow up was appropriate.

Here is the information from the EEOC that I assume you are connected to: “Federal law does not prohibit employers from asking you if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. However, because such questions may indicate a possible intention to discriminate on the basis of pregnancy, we advise employers to avoid such questions.”

In the future, if you are asked about your family planning during a job interview, you might reply, “I’m curious, why are you asking?”

The interviewer would probably give a benign-sounding statement. After that, if you’re still interested in a job in that particular workplace, you can respond and distract by saying, “I have an excellent work ethic.”

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Considering that this baby balancing question was done in a real school, you might have answered “Since I’m going to be working with kids, it’s my whole job to balance kids and work. I’m looking into it out.”

Dear Amy: It may be my profession that makes me a little salty, but I hope you can rephrase this irritation or exchange your thoughts.

When the pandemic started, everyone had to work from home. All most people could do was complain about how hard this was.

As a nurse and manager of a medical department, I naturally did not come to work from home. Nor did I have “boring” days that so many people complained about.

Now, three years later, many people are used to working from home and love it. They complain that they have to go to an office a few times a month.



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