You may not have even thought about starting a family yet, but the possibility is always there, and when you start a career after CNA training, certain aspects of the job may require you to take a step back if you find out you’re pregnant. Does that, in itself, however, give an interviewer the right to ask about your future maternity plans? In a word: no.
When you’re interviewing for a job after CNA training, hiring managers are not allowed to ask you questions about childbirth or pregnancy, whether in your past or future. Doing so could violate anti-discrimination laws that prohibit discriminating job candidates based on disability, sex, childbirth, or pregnancy.
Laws That Protect Your Maternity Plans After CNA Training
- Title VII- Title VII was created in 1964 as part of the Civil Rights Act and prevents employers from making unlawful inquiries prior to your employment and making decisions about whether to employ you after CNA training based on your sex. The goal of this law was to open up doors for women who were traditionally shut out of certain types of employment because of their gender.
- PDA- PDA stands for the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which was an amendment added to Title VII in 1978. This specifically prevented discrimination of pregnant employees. This prevents your employer from denying you insurance after CNA training, taking your seniority rights away, or discriminating against you if you have an abortion or miscarry.
- ADA- The Americans with Disability Act protect pregnant workers after CNA training as well. Despite its short length, pregnancy is considered a disability and asking probing questions about a disability is strictly prohibited by this law. While most often your job duties would change as a CNA when you become pregnant, this law applies even if you are still able to do everything as before.
- FMLA- The Family and Medical Leave Act protects women from questions like “When do you think you’ll need to begin taking your FMLA?” and “When did your doctor say you’ll need to quit work and start maternity leave?” These questions do need to be answered, but they can only be addressed by the employee after CNA training once they have concurred with their doctor. According to the FMLA, women who become pregnant after CNA training or decide to adopt can take up to 12 weeks off of work, unpaid, and still have the guarantee that their job will be waiting for them.
Maternity Questions After CNA Training
So, what should you do if a potential hiring manager begins asking you about your pregnancy or any future plans to become pregnant during an interview? Many women say nothing, because they are worried they won’t be able to obtain the job they want and need. The problem is, your rights are being violated, and you’re being discriminated against. Stay polite and professional, but gently remind the manager that it is against the law for them to ask you questions regarding pregnancy, childbirth, and maternity plans, and that discriminating against you because you refuse to answer is also against the law.
While some employers may simply not realize their mistake, be careful when accepting a job offer from any facility that violates your rights this way after CNA training.