Labor law question: Can the boss announce pregnancy?

Pregnancy is good news.

Labor law question: Can the boss announce pregnancy?

Pregnancy is good news. Anyone who takes their employer into their confidence early on may not want the information to be known everywhere immediately. Which rules apply?

Employees should inform their employer of pregnancy and the expected date of delivery as soon as they know that they are pregnant. This is what the Maternity Protection Act provides. If the employee violates this, this does not lead to sanctions.

Anyone who nevertheless takes their employer into their confidence early on may not want them to pass the pregnancy on directly in the company. Should employers do that at all?

"The Maternity Protection Act stipulates that the employer may not pass on information about a pregnancy to third parties without authorization," says Peter Meyer, a specialist lawyer for labor law in Berlin. This includes all persons who are not involved in the implementation of specific protective measures in connection with the workplace of the pregnant woman.

Employers must carry out a risk assessment for each job: What happens if an employee becomes pregnant? "The employer must implement the protective measures resulting from the risk assessment," says Meyer. Anyone who works in a dental practice, for example, is no longer allowed to work at the dentist's chair once they become pregnant.

This means that the employer can inform supervisors about the pregnancy of an employee - since the manager has to implement the protective measures. Occupational health and safety personnel can and must also be involved, such as company doctors or occupational health and safety specialists.

However, if the manager simply tells the team that an employee is pregnant, although she does not want it, the employer may even face a fine.

According to Peter Meyer, this is more of a theoretical case: "To do this, an employee would have to report their employer to the responsible authority and I am not aware of any such cases." With a view to maternity protection periods and the upcoming parental leave, it is usually advisable to discuss the pregnancy with the team and the manager in good time.

About the person: Peter Meyer is a specialist lawyer for labor law and a member of the executive committee of the labor law working group in the German Bar Association (DAV).


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