Employer Requires Women Ask Boss' Permission to Get Pregnant -- Or Else

pregnant work womanFiguring out where kids fit into your career goals is already insanely difficult, but imagine if you also had to make an agreement with your employer to only have a child within a specific window of time? That madness is actually happening right now at a company in China requiring women to schedule their pregnancies.


The new rules were announced in a notice to employees of the Jiaozuo city credit cooperative on Friday. According to the new policy, women must work at the company for at least one year before they're allowed to apply to have a baby. They then must schedule their pregnancy in advance and adhere to that strict time frame, or else.

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According to the notice, the company's birth plan will be "strictly enforced." Women who have a baby off-schedule face a fine of 1,000 yuan and become ineligible for promotion. They may also face withholding of their year-end bonuses.

A representative for the company said the policy is intended to prevent a rash of pregnancies that would "unduly influence" the company's operations. They apparently hired a bunch of recent college graduates and are worried they'll all decide to get knocked up at the same time, so they came up with this policy that sounds like it's straight from a dystopian science fiction novel. 

The big question is how they expect something like this to even work. Pregnancy is not an absolute. You can plan to get pregnant in three months and then end up not conceiving for a year. The baby could be born early. You could have unexpected complications arise or even end up on bed rest. Even with a plan, the unexpected is possible.

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Plus, what happens to the women dealing with the stress of this policy? Living in constant fear of accidental pregnancy or putting absurd amounts of pressure on yourself to get pregnant during a specified time frame has to have a damaging effect on their psyches and their relationships. Here's betting it affects their performance at work too.

Figuring out where a baby fits into your plans is one thing, but your employer nudging their way into your private life is something else entirely. It might be easier for the company, but ultimately it's not at all what's best for the employees. There has to be a happy medium that doesn't involve treating fertility and family planning like something you can clock in and out of.

Would you ever consider scheduling a pregnancy with your employer?

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