Even in today's more tolerant and politically correct culture, pregnant women still face workplace discrimination in several forms. In fact, pregnant women should know their rights as employees so that they can more easily identify and report any type of workplace discrimination. This type of action from Florida employers is reprehensible and should not occur under any circumstance.
The most commonly reported issue with pregnant women in the workplace is being fired simply because they told their employer they were pregnant. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, passed in 1978, prevents employers from discriminating against pregnant women in any form. This includes job termination. Additionally, employers cannot pass over a job applicant because she is pregnant or could become pregnant.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act also protects women who need to pump breast milk at work. Employers should provide a private and safe place for women to breastfeed. Women who are suffering from pregnancy-related issues should be treated the same way that an employee with a physical disability is treated. Of course, it is expected that Florida employers will provide certain accommodations for pregnant women, such as more frequent bathroom breaks and sitting for longer periods of time.
Workplace discrimination of any kind is unacceptable. Victims of any type of mistreatment have the right to seek help and speak out about their experience. It can be intimidating to face this type of treatment from an employer, but pregnant women do not have to face it alone. The rights of pregnant women should be acknowledged and respected by all employers.
Source: clickondetroit.com, "8 rights of pregnant women at work", Annalyn Kurtz, July 25, 2014