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Tampa Personal Injury Lawyers / Blog / Employment Law / EEOC Files Federal Lawsuit Alleging Pregnancy Discrimination

EEOC Files Federal Lawsuit Alleging Pregnancy Discrimination


A bakery violated federal law when it fired a pregnant employee, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in a federal lawsuit filed February 16, 2024. According to the EEOC, the bakery fired the employee after she missed two shifts to seek emergency medical treatment related to her pregnancy. The EEOC contends that the employee was ready to work within two days of being hospitalized, but the bakery fired her anyway due to perceived reliability issues related to her pregnancy. The EEOC says that the employee was capable of fulfilling her duties at work and that her firing was illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Federal law prohibits the firing of any employee based on pregnancy or related medical conditions. In addition, the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits the firing of any employee based on a medical condition that does not prevent them from doing work related to their job.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) 

In 2022, the EEOC received 2,273 complaints regarding pregnancy discrimination. Since 1978, however, pregnancy discrimination has been illegal under federal law. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 prohibits U.S. employers from unlawfully discriminating against an employee who is pregnant or who has recently had a baby. The act extended sex discrimination rights afforded to women in the workplace. The law makes it illegal to:

  • Fire an employee based on their pregnancy, complications related to their pregnancy, or health issues that arise from their pregnancy
  • Refuse to hire someone based on their current pregnancy or if they have just given birth
  • Allow harassment of an employee because they are pregnant
  • Refuse to make reasonable accommodations to a pregnant employee
  • Force an employee to change jobs because they are pregnant

According to the PDA, a pregnant employee must be treated the same way as any other employee in the workforce. They cannot be discriminated against or fired on the basis of their pregnancy. Employers are expected to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees such as allowing them to sit down instead of stand if they are cashiers. The law extends to health ailments related to pregnancy. In the case above, the employee required medical treatment based on complications related to her pregnancy. According to the EEOC, she was fired for this reason. That would be illegal. The law provides that pregnant employees have rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act that prevent employers from firing them so long as they can still perform the tasks related to their job. The EEOC contends that the employee was fully capable of performing her job duties, and thus, the firing was illegal. They will attempt to recover back wages, restore her position at the company, and additional damages for the employee.

Talk to a Florida Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney Today 

Florin Gray Bouzas Owens, LLC represents the interests of Florida employees who have suffered discrimination in the workplace. Call our Tampa employment lawyers today to schedule a free consultation, and we can begin investigating your case right away.



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