亲爱的D.I.O.：首先说声恭喜！其次，希望你的公司规模在15人以上。原因是，如果这样的话，你将受1978年通过的联邦《怀孕歧视法案》（Pregnancy Discrimination Act）的保护，可以免受那些不利“影响”的困扰。律师汤姆•斯皮格尔表示：“了解自己的权利是关键。”斯皮格尔的新书《怀孕等于失业！保护职场父母和其他护理工作者》（You're Pregnant? You're Fired!: Protecting Mothers, Fathers, and Other Caregivers in the Workplace.）即将发行。
斯皮格尔表示，在大多数设有法务部的大公司，管理者至少会大致明白，他们不能因为员工怀孕而采取任何不利措施，包括解聘或降职。但即便如此，在过去十年里，每年上诉到美国公平就业机会委员会（Equal Employment Opportunity Commission）的怀孕歧视案件数量一直在增加，从2010年开始有小幅减少，从4,029起减少到去年的3,541起。
Dear Annie:I am a senior software developer with one daughter, and I just found out I'm expecting a second child. This is great news, of course, but the problem is, my first pregnancy was very complicated, requiring several weeks of bed rest (i.e., absence from the office). Luckily, my boss back then was sympathetic, and I could work from home most of the time without any major problem.
This time, though, I'm working for a different company, and my boss and teammates are all single men who have not been very accommodating, to put it mildly, when the few other women here have taken pregnancy leave, maternity leave, etc. Should I tell my boss now that I might have to be out for a while? Or should I wait and see? On the one hand, I don't want to seem as if I'm hiding anything, and I do want to give him enough advance notice to come up with a Plan B. On the other hand, I hesitate to bring this up, in case there are repercussions. Your thoughts? -- Due in October
Dear D.I.O.:First, congratulations! And second, here's hoping you work for a company that has 15 or more employees because, if so, the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 protects you from most of the ominous-sounding "repercussions" you refer to. "Knowing your rights is key," says Tom Spiggle, an attorney and author of the forthcoming book, You're Pregnant? You're Fired!: Protecting Mothers, Fathers, and Other Caregivers in the Workplace.
At most big companies with vigilant legal departments, he notes, managers are at least vaguely aware that they can't take any adverse action, including firing or demoting you, just because you're expecting. Even so, the number of pregnancy discrimination cases filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been rising for the past decade or so, falling slightly since 2010, from 4,029 to 3,541 last year.
The prevalence of these cases, Spiggle speculates, is "probably because there are more women in the workplace, and more of them are delaying childbearing until they're farther along in their careers, so the stakes are higher." He adds that, in predominantly male businesses (like software development, for example), "front-line supervisors may not be too familiar with the law."