Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace is a special field of legal practice handled by the Tampa work discrimination lawyers at Florin Gray Bouzas Owens, LLC. The unfavorable treatment of pregnant employees and job applicants takes place with alarming frequency across the United States despite its federal and state prohibition. If you’ve experienced workplace discrimination for being pregnant, contact our law office today to schedule a free consultation.
The basis of the federal law that prohibits pregnancy discrimination by employers in the United States is a Supreme Court decision that challenged the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Prior to the passing of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978, employers could get away with actions that would be considered illegal these days. Pregnancy discrimination used to be separate from gender discrimination until Title VII of the Civil Rights Act was amended to protect the rights of pregnant job seekers and workers. These days, a Tampa employment attorney can assist in bringing claims under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act whenever clients are treated unfairly by their employers just because they became pregnant. Similarly, women are also protected against discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical issues under state law in Florida. Claims under federal and state law are generally analyzed by courts in the same fashion.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is all encompassing, which means that it is structured in a way that covers all situations and actions related to employment. A job seeker cannot be discriminated against on the basis of pregnancy, and the same goes for situations related to work schedules, benefits, promotions, salaries, health insurance, and others. Repeated harassment of pregnant employees by co-workers, associates or by customers and clients is also prohibited under this act. Work conditions must be adjusted accordingly for pregnant workers; to this effect, employers must follow the federal guidelines provided for employees who deal with temporary disabilities, which may include unpaid leave, light duty, and temporary reassignments. Furthermore, when pregnant employees encounter medical conditions such as pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes, the Americans with Disabilities Act may be implicated with regard to providing reasonable accommodation.
In addition to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, our attorneys can also help clients under the Family and Medical Leave Act, which provides up to 12 weeks of leave from the workplace to new parents. It is important to note this Act also provides parental leave to adoptive and foster parents. Not all pregnant workers will automatically benefit from this Act, which has a few requirements. First of all, this benefit is for parents who have worked at least 12 months for the same employer at the time they become parents. Whether this period shall be paid or unpaid depends on how much leave the employee has accrued prior to becoming a parent.
The Fair Labor Standards Act provides certain rights to nursing mothers so that they can use a breast pump. The employer must provide a private and adequate space for this purpose, and a bathroom does not meet this requirement. The time afforded to employees under this Act must be compensated and shall not be limited to lunch or other break periods dictated by state laws.
If you would like to learn more about pregnancy discrimination, contact the Tampa pregnancy discrimination lawyers of Florin Gray Bouzas Owens, LLC.