Three Pregnancy Discrimination Laws That Protect Expectant Employees
Pregnant employees in Florida might be vulnerable to mistreatment by employers if not for federal and state anti-discrimination laws. These statutes protect you from termination or other adverse consequences, such as being denied a promotion or suffering a reduction in pay. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and its state counterpart, the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR), are tasked with enforcement. You may have remedies by filing a charge with the proper agency and working through the administrative process.
However, a key factor with pregnancy discrimination is the specific law that your employer violates by mistreating expectant workers. The statutes may overlap, so you need to pursue your remedies under the provisions that offer the greatest benefits. You can trust your Florida pregnancy discrimination lawyer to develop the most advantageous strategy, and it is useful to review some information on the laws that protect you.
- Title VII: The primary law that prohibits discrimination in the workplace is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which makes it unlawful to mistreat workers because of protected characteristics. Examples include race, religion, nationality, and others. The original law did not specifically prohibit misconduct targeting expectant employees, but it was amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
As a pregnant worker, you could file a charge for pregnancy discrimination to recover damages for back pay, front pay, benefits, and attorneys’ fees. Plus, you might qualify for equitable relief, including being reinstated to your position if you were terminated because of pregnancy.
- Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act (PWFA): This statute became effective in 2023, and it takes some of the key concepts from other anti-discrimination laws to clarify the protections for pregnant employees. The PWFA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to a worker when necessary to perform job-related tasks. It covers factors related to:
- The physical effects of pregnancy, such as morning sickness;
- Childbirth and post-childbirth medical conditions;
- Nursing needs; and,
- All other pregnancy related effects.
Note that an employer is not required to provide reasonable accommodations that would present an undue burden or extreme cost.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The ADA was enacted in 1990, essentially filling a gap where Title VII did not specifically cover workers with disabilities. Expecting employees have been protected by ADA through legal developments that treated pregnancy conditions as a temporary disability. The statute allows you to recover many of the same damages as Title VII, including back pay, front pay, legal costs, and equitable relief.
Our Palm Beach County Pregnancy Discrimination Attorneys Will Explain Remedies
If your employer violated any of the above laws, there are certain steps you must take to recover monetary benefits. Our team at Sconzo Law Office will assist by gathering evidence and filing a charge with the EEOC or FCHR. We are also prepared to take your case to court if the administrative process is not productive. To learn more about your options, please call 561-279-6114 or go online to schedule a free consultation at our offices in Palm Beach Gardens.