Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in a very important case examining the important -- and always contentious -- issue of pregnancy discrimination.
Florida is an at-will employment state. This means that employers can generally fire their employees for pretty much any reason. A reason for terminating an employee in Florida can be anything from a performance issue, to budget cuts, to a simple personal dislike for the employee. However, although employers do have a lot of leeway to get rid of unwanted employees, they cannot fire employees in violation of any state or federal employment law.
Under both federal law and Florida state law, almost every form of discrimination is illegal when it comes to employment. In some cases, federal anti-discrimination laws conflict with state laws, however, making it difficult for both employers and employees to understand their rights and responsibilities. One of these areas involves the treatment of pregnant women.
Workplace discrimination is a frequent theme in this Broward County Employment Law Blog. Time and time again, we have mentioned cases in which employers violate federal employment law by discriminating against workers or job applicants on the basis of their age, race, sex, disability, religion or nationality. Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, it is also illegal to make decisions on the terms of a worker's employment on the basis pregnancy.