Pregnant in Florida? Your Employment Rights Just Got More Protected

In 1978, Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, an amendment to its Civil Rights Act of 1964. While US citizens are covered under federal law in some cases, in other cases they need protection by the state. Therefore, Florida passed its own civil rights act in 1992. While Florida had no explicit pregnancy anti-discrimination law on its books, in April, 2014 (Delva v. The Continental Group, Inc.) the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the state’s gender anti-discrimination laws implicitly included pregnancy, concluding, “discrimination based on pregnancy is subsumed within the prohibition in the FCRA against discrimination based on an individual’s ‘sex.”’ 

Then, a few months ago, on July 1, 2015, the Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA) added an amendment that outright prohibits discrimination against pregnancy, both in public spaces and in the workplace.

Here are some of the specific prohibitions of the FCRA regarding discrimination. These actions are illegal according to the FCRA, and are now explicitly applied to pregnant individuals:

  • Discharging or failing to hire an individual, or otherwise discriminating against an individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment;
  • Limiting, segregating, or classifying employees or applicants for employment in ways that would deprive such individuals of employment opportunities or adversely affect an individual’s status as an employee;
  • Failing or refusing to refer an individual for employment;
  • Excluding or expelling an individual from membership in a labor organization or limiting, segregating, or classifying the membership of a labor organization;
  • Discriminating in admission to, or employment in, any program established to provide apprenticeship or other training for a profession, occupation, or trade;
  • Discriminating in licensing, certification, credentials, examinations, or an organizational membership required to engage in a profession, occupation, or trade; and
  • Printing or publishing ads related to membership in certain labor organizations or employment that indicate a preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination.

In other words, it is illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or limit access of employment, training, or benefits to anyone based on discrimination. This empowers pregnant women to get hired and retain their jobs while pregnant.

If you have any questions regarding your status as a pregnant woman in the workplace, contact a reputable lawyer immediately – you don’t want to let these issues fester.

Whether you need to take time off for yourself before you go into labor, or whether you work straight through, we wish you a healthy and pleasant pregnancy, with no worries about your employment.

Additional Information: For information regarding postpartum rights, click here to read about the Civil Rights Act and the Family Medical Leave Act.