EEOC Files Lawsuit Over Pregnancy Discrimination
The EEOC has filed a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against a Florida assisted living facility alleging that the company terminated the employee once they found out that she was pregnant. According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, the employee’s manager refused to give her any more shifts and terminated her employment upon learning that she was pregnant.
Terminating an employee for pregnancy violates the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit in the Middle District of Florida after attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement. The EEOC hopes to recover back pay and compensatory and punitive damages for the employee as well as injunctive relief to avoid discriminatory practices in the future.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 makes it unlawful for an employer to terminate an employee based on the fact of their pregnancy. In many cases, employees will request maternity leave for a period of time to help rear a young infant. Employers may not like paying for maternity leave, but they cannot fire an employee based on their entitlement to maternity leave.
The basis for this legislation is a federal law that was passed in 1978. Prior to the passage of this law, employers could get away with terminating employees who were pregnant to avoid paying maternity leave. Pregnancy discrimination used to be separate from gender discrimination until Title VII of the Civil Rights Act was amended to include pregnancy discrimination under its banner.
Today, it is unlawful for a company to not offer a job to someone who is pregnant or to terminate an employee based on the fact of their pregnancy.
Pregnancy and work condition laws in Tampa, FL
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is structured in a manner that includes all situations and actions related to employment. This means that not only can you not be fired for pregnancy, but employers are not allowed to demote or pass you up for promotion due to a pregnancy. A job seeker cannot be discriminated against based on a pregnancy. The same is true for situations related to salaries, health insurance, work schedules, and more.
Further, pregnant employees cannot be harassed by co-workers, managers, or even customers or clients. The rule mandates that working conditions must be adjusted to the needs of pregnant workers. Employers are required to follow federal guidelines provided for employees who have temporary disabilities. This can include unpaid leave, light duty, or temporary reassignments. If an employee suffers complications related to pregnancy, their employer is required to make reasonable accommodations so that they can continue to work.
Talk to a Tampa, FL Employment Discrimination Attorney Today
Florin Gray Bouzas Owens, LLC represents the interests of those who have been unfairly terminated based on certain types of discrimination. Call our Tampa pregnancy discrimination lawyers today to schedule a free consultation, and we can begin discussing your options immediately.