Women who become pregnant are no less capable of fulfilling their job duties and doing what their work requires of them than others. Unfortunately, Florida employers do not always recognize the rights of pregnant women, discriminating against them when they need reasonable accommodations and family leave. To comply with federal and state laws preventing pregnancy discrimination, employers should strive to be consistent and fair with all employees.
There may be times in a pregnancy when an employee needs certain accommodations as recommended by her doctor. She may not be able to lift heavy objects or do specific tasks. According to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, employers cannot discriminate against women who are pregnant. This means employers should treat pregnant employees like they do other employees. If there is a medical reason to avoid a certain task, they should be able to do so without fear of retaliation.
Consistency is key to adhering to employment laws. If an injured employee was given accommodations after surgery, a pregnant women should get the same treatment if she needs it. Benevolent discrimination is also a concern. This happens when an employer prevents a worker from doing certain things because he or she is trying to be protective and careful. An employee gets to be the one to decide what he or she can reasonably and safely do, not the employer.
Florida employees who experienced pregnancy discrimination in the workplace do not have to remain silent. It may be appropriate to move forward with a civil claim against the employer. After experiencing unfair treatment related to pregnancy, it is helpful to discuss legal options with an experienced employment law attorney.