What to say when you learn an employee is pregnant.

Things you shouldn't say:

"How much time are you taking off?" While you will need to do some planning, asking this question right away is in poor taste. And never suggest that the employee should take time off during her pregnancy for health reasons.

"Are you coming back to work after the baby is born?" This can open up legal troubles if the employee is overlooked for promotions or desirable assignments, or she has to be terminated for performance reasons. She could assume--and claim in court--it was done because of her pregnancy.

"I hope nobody else gets pregnant around here!" What you think is a light joke about scheduling could become the basis of a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit. Example: A California boss told workers, "The next person to get pregnant should consider herself fired." He ended up with an expensive...

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