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Florida Labor & Employment Lawyer > Blog > Discrimination > Is an Employer in Florida Required to Give a Pregnant Employee Time Off?

Is an Employer in Florida Required to Give a Pregnant Employee Time Off?


The Florida Department of Health reports that more than 200,000 babies are born in the state each year. The majority of women who give birth in Florida are employed. This raises an important question: Does an employer have to give a pregnant worker time-off? In Florida, the answer is “it depends.” While the state lacks a pregnancy-specific anti-discrimination state, employers that are covered by the Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA) or the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) are generally required to give pregnant workers time-off to deal with their medical needs. Within this article, you will find a guide on the rights of a pregnant employee to take time-off in Florida.

Understanding Pregnancy Discrimination Protections Under the FCRA and PDA 

When it comes to the rights of pregnant employees in Florida, two major laws offer protection. One at the state-level and one at the federal level. Here is an overview:

  • Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA): The FCRA is a state law that prohibits employment discrimination based on various factors, including pregnancy. While the statute itself technically does not speak to pregnancy, Florida’s highest court has ruled that pregnancy discrimination is, inherently, a form of gender discrimination. The FCRA covers businesses and organizations with 15 or more employees.
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA): On a federal level, the PDA provides similar protections. It states that discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions is a form of unlawful sex discrimination. Similar to Florida state law, the PDA applies to businesses and organizations with 15 or more employees.

 Know the Limitation to the Law: Unfortunately, workers at companies with fewer than 15 employees in Florida are outside of the scope of either the FCRA or PDA. Though, of course, an employer may still voluntarily grant time-off for pregnancy.

 Pregnancy is Treated Much Like a Short-Term Disability 

For covered employers, a pregnancy is often treated similarly to a short-term disability. If your employer offers time off or other accommodations for short-term disabilities, they should also offer similar accommodations for pregnancy. Further, an employee may be entitled to time-off as a reasonable accommodation under either the FCRA or the PDA.

 A Lawyer Can Help You Navigate a Complex Employment Matter 

Pregnancy-related employment law matters are complicated. They are highly fact-specific cases. Navigating the laws surrounding pregnancy and employment can be challenging for pregnant workers and their families. If you feel that your rights as a pregnant employee are not being respected, it is wise to consult with a top-tier employment lawyer. Your attorney can review your situation and provide guidance that you can rely on. You may potentially have a legal claim.

 Get Help From an Employment Discrimination Attorney in Florida 

Pregnancy discrimination cases are complicated. If you have any specific questions or concerns about the rights of a pregnant worker to take job-protected leave in Florida, please do not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney for immediate help.

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