Florida legislature has passed a bill this year banning discrimination against pregnant women at work as well as in public places like restaurants or hotels.Pregnancy_Discrimination_Act

The bill amends the state’s Civil Rights Act by adding pregnancy to race, sex, and physical disability as protected classes.

As a result of this law, the State of Florida just released today a mandatory change in the state’s notice of discrimination, which is required to be posted at all workplaces, adding pregnancy as a protected class. The new Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA) actually takes effect July 1, 2015.

Lawmakers introduced the bill to codify the state’s Supreme Court ruling last year in favor of plaintiff Peggy Delva, a front desk manager at a condominium building who sued her employer for barring her from covering other workers’ shifts after she became pregnant and firing her when she returned from leave. The court ruled that she was discriminated against on account of her pregnancy and that violated Florida’s law against sex discrimination, overturning lower courts who ruled against her.

Federal law, including the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, is also supposed to protect pregnant women, but they still experience widespread discrimination. An estimated quarter million women every year are denied their requests for employers to give them accommodations at work so that they can stay on their jobs throughout their pregnancies, so they end up pushed onto unpaid leave or suffering health complications such as miscarriages if they stay. The United States Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of Peggy Young, who had sued UPS for refusing to give her light duty after she became pregnant, forcing her onto unpaid leave without benefits.

What this Means for Employers with Florida Employees

The 2015 amendment to the Florida Civil Right Act (FCRA) specifically provides that an employer may not discriminate against a woman affected by pregnancy, provided that the discriminatory act constitutes an unlawful employment practice. Such unlawful employment practices continue to include the following:

  • 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.
  • 760.10, Fla. Stat.

Employers in Florida should prepare for the FCRA amendment by considering pregnancy-related conditions that the amendment may implicate, reviewing their current policies, and training their supervisors to be mindful that Florida law now expressly prohibits employers from discriminating based on pregnancy.

For the convenience of our customers, All in One Poster Company has included the revised discrimination notice containing the pregnancy verbiage for all labor law poster orders placed on or after July 27, 2015.

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