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Florida Labor & Employment Lawyer > Blog > Discrimination > Federal Court Permits Former HR Manager’s Pregnancy Discrimination Claim Right to Move Forward

Federal Court Permits Former HR Manager’s Pregnancy Discrimination Claim Right to Move Forward


On May 14th, 2024, Law.com reported that a federal court is allowing the pregnancy discrimination lawsuit of former human resources (HR) Manager of a Florida-based law firm to move forward. In Florida, pregnancy discrimination claims are generally brought under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). In this article, you will find an overview of key points to know about the law.

What is Pregnancy Discrimination? 

As a simple definition, pregnancy discrimination occurs when an employee or job applicant receives unfavorable treatment due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition that is related to pregnancy or childbirth. It is a form of job-related discrimination that can arise in a wide range of different contexts in the workplace—from hiring and firing, to pay and job assignment. The key point is that pregnancy should not be used as the basis to treat an employee less favorably.

 The PDA Applies to Employers With 15 or More Employees

 The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is a federal law that applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies, labor organizations, and even federal government agencies. This law mandates that employers treat women affected by pregnancy and related conditions the same way they treat other employees similar in their ability or inability to work.

Note: Under the Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA), discrimination based on pregnancy is treated as a form of gender discrimination. The state law also applies to employers with 15 or more employees,

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) Requires Reasonable Accommodation

 Building on existing pregnancy discrimination law, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA)—which went into effect in 2023—provides additional protections to pregnant employees. Most notably, it clarifies and reinforces an employer’s responsibility to provide reasonable accommodations for workers experiencing limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

Common modifications include providing more frequent breaks, modifying food and drink policies, and offering appropriate seating. In this way, the PWFA is designed to ensure that employers treat pregnancy much like they would treat a temporary disability under the ADA.

 Federal Law Prohibits Retaliation for Exercising Rights Under PDA 

If you are protected by the PDA, you have the right to report pregnancy discrimination—both internally within your company and externally to regulators. An employer cannot retaliate against an employee who exercises their rights under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The law grants covered employees the right to:

  • Report pregnancy discrimination;
  • File a pregnancy discrimination complaint; and
  • Testify/participate in an investigation of discrimination.

Employees must be able to assert their rights without fear of punishment or retribution from their employers. If an employer punishes an employee for reporting pregnancy discrimination through an adverse action such as demotion, write-up or termination of employment, that employer can face additional liability through a retaliation claim.

 Get Help From a Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney in Florida 

Federal and Florida state law provides legal protections to many pregnant workers. If you or your loved one was subject to pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, an experienced attorney can help. Contact a Florida pregnancy discrimination lawyer today for a confidential consultation.

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