Florida Pregnancy Discrimination Law – October 2013
Currently, in the State of Florida, employees throughout the State are not all protected equally for pregnancy discrimination under the Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA). This is because the FCRA as written in Florida Statute 760 does not implicitly state that pregnancy is a protected right under the statute.
But, this may all soon change!
Florida Section 760.10(1)(a) states in part “it is an unlawful practice for an employer to discharge.. any individual.. because of such individuals race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status. Note the word “pregnancy” is not included in the statute.
Title VII states in part “it shall be unlawful employment practice for an employer … to discriminate against any individual because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or nation origin.” In 1978, Congress amended Title VII by enacting the PDA (Pregnancy Discrimination Act). The PDA specifies that discrimination on the basis of pregnancy is sex discrimination, and therefore violate of Title VII. Florida has not similarly amended the Florida Civil Rights Act to include a prohibition against pregnancy-based discrimination.
In Florida’ First District Court of Appeal (Tallahassee area, ie. the northern part of the State), the court did not allow the employee to claim pregnancy discrimination. In Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal (Tamp area, ie. the middle western part of the State), has held that pregnancy discrimination was covered under the Florida Civil Rights Act. In Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal (Miami area), has held that pregnancy discrimination claims are not cognizable under the Florida Civil Rights Act. In Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal (West Palm Beach area), the court did allow the employee to claim pregnancy discrimination. In Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal (Daytona Beach area), the court has not decided a case on this issue to date.
Even the Federal Courts themselves are not all on the same page as to whether or not the FCRA gives protection for pregnancy discrimination. And decisions within the jurisdictions themselves are inconsistent.
But, recently Senator Geraldine Thompson D-Orlando, filed the Senate version (SB 220), while Representative Lori Berman, D-Lantana, filed the House version (HB 105) of a bill that would seek to protect pregnant women from discrimination in issues such as employment and benefits. The bills would add pregnancy to a law that bars discrimination based on such factor as race, religion, sex, national origin and age. (SEE http://www.sun-sentinel.com/os-lawmakers-file-bill-to-ban-discrimination-against-pregnant-women-20130930,0,1709044.post) The bills are filed for the 2014 legislative session.
If you have been the subject of a Florida pregnancy discrimination case, please call and speak to a Florida pregnancy discrimination lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A. at 888-ASK-ANDREW (888-275-2637) or contact us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you are injured…Ask Andrew!!!