Boss Says Employee's Pregnancy Is 'No Excuse' For Low Productivity — Is He Wrong?

Many women who are pregnant want to continue working until they have their babies or as close to their due date as possible. Sometimes, however, pregnant women who continue to work take a bit longer to complete tasks or do other things since pregnancy can take a physical and mental toll. Many expect their employers and bosses to understand and have empathy and compassion during this time.

However, not all employers are made equally.

Unsplash | Scott Graham

While some employers are understanding of the needs and circumstances of pregnant employees, others are not as kind and understanding of the things they need—including a bit more time to complete their tasks

Recently, one employer got destroyed by users on Reddit when he asked if he was wrong for the way he treated his pregnant employee.

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The Reddit user wrote into the "Am I the Asshole?" thread asking the very pressing question, "AITA for telling an employee that pregnancy is not an excuse for low productivity?"

The Reddit user said that he works in an office where the end of the year is "crunch time."

Unsplash | Camylla Battani

"Most of my team is doing great, except for one woman I'll call Cara. Cara told me two weeks ago that she is pregnant, and she is about 10 weeks along. The only reason she told me in the first place was because I had to write her up for not being as available as she needed to be," he wrote in the post.

Apparently, "Cara" was calling in sick due to morning sickness.

Unsplash | David Mao

"She was calling in sick at least once a week for the past four weeks, and when she was at the office she was not 100% focused on her work. She explained that she has severe morning sickness, and that she has been vomiting multiple times per day, and some days she needed to take off," the Reddit user wrote.

The Reddit user said he tried working with her, allowing her to come in later if she stays later to work, too.

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"I made other concessions, too. I am allowing time off for doctor's appointments and allowing her to take more frequent breaks throughout the day (apparently she can no longer eat a regular lunch, and must eat multiple times during the day?)" he wrote.

He said he agreed to all of the things she requested, as long as she kept up her productivity for the job.

Unsplash | Kristine Wook

Apparently, Cara was not able to meet his standards for productivity.

"Well, she has not. She has called out sick once already since then, and she has not made herself available for calls during off-hours. My other staff is staying at the office until 8 or 9 in the evening, but Cara is out by 6 and apparently goes straight to sleep when she gets home and keeps her phone muted during that time," he said.

The Reddit user said he sat her down and spoke about his concerns.

"I sat her down yesterday and relayed my concerns. She acknowledged how her lack of productivity has hurt the rest of the staff, but claimed that she is physically struggling a great deal. I told her that was no excuse, because she is only in her first trimester and barely even pregnant yet," he said.

Apparently, his wife said that he was a HUGE asshole for what he said and how he acted. So, he asked the Reddit community for their opinions.

Pretty much everyone on Reddit seemed to be in agreement—this guy is an asshole.

"You are STRONGLY, EMPHATICALLY the asshole. Imagine being nauseous and vomiting throughout the day, every day, for weeks. It is exhausting to vomit once, let alone multiple times a day.

Some women have easy pregnancies, some have difficult pregnancies. Calling pregnancy 'a normal bodily function' and claiming she is using it as an excuse is utterly ridiculous. How would you treat one of your non-pregnant employees if they were sick, or injured? Would you expect someone with COVID to be 100% productive?" one person asked.

Others pointed out that pregnancy can impact people in different ways, but said that the first trimester can be brutal.

"For anyone curious, morning sickness does indeed last all day and varies in severity from pregnancy to pregnancy. Pregnant women are frequently encouraged to eat small meals throughout the day instead of a few large ones to help with blood sugar, nausea, and other symptoms. Exhaustion and headaches are common first trimester symptoms," they wrote.

It seems that Reddit has made up their minds about this situation, but what's your take on it?

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