In 2004, I started a new job at a very small company. I was really excited about the new career opportunity since I had been out of college for over a year. It was a completely new line of work, something I had never heard of and had no knowledge of either. But I was ready to learn the ropes and start a career.
After working there for three months, my boss approached me and said I qualified for healthcare coverage. The following day I sat down with my boss to go over the paperwork. There were a total of four employees working for this company so my boss was in charge of doing all the necessary paperwork for the insurance. While we were going over the paperwork he asked if I wanted maternity coverage. I was taken off guard by this question and remained silent.
He explained that maternity coverage was more expensive and he needed to know if I needed it or not because it was a higher premium. I declined the coverage since I wasn’t married and had no need for it.
A couple of years later, when I was engaged, I did need to change my insurance so I would have maternity coverage. Enrollment occurred in January however I wasn’t getting married until August. Just in case I was to get pregnant right away, I wanted to make sure I was covered to I enrolled in maternity coverage when I was engaged. I remember explaining this to my boss so I would have the coverage at the right time.
Looking back, I realize how awkward and unprofessional those conversations were. Had I gotten the coverage from the beginning, my boss would have thought I was sexually active. Since I didn’t have the coverage, my boss could make the assumption that I wasn’t sexually active. He knew more about my relationship then a boss should.
Luckily I had a really nice boss and I didn’t mind being on a personal level with him. This allowed us to talk about our faith and we had many good conversations regarding Catholicism. But I often wonder, what about all the people who are in similar situations and don’t have an open relationship with their boss?
It is pretty interesting that a boss can know your sex life by knowing what type of coverage you want when applying for insurance. The government has no problem with that at all. But when a company decides they don’t want to coverage certain aspects of insurance, the government thinks they can intervene. Why is the government okay with employers knowing our sex life but not okay with employers standing up for their beliefs about sex?
Personally I would have preferred my boss telling me what he would and would not cover over me having to discuss a pretty darn private part of my personal life with him. How about you?