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Federal protection for pregnant women in the Florida workplace

Unfortunately, there are still a lot of Florida women who believe an employer may treat them differently simply because they become pregnant. Typically, these women fear termination because most pregnancies mean at least some missed work and sometimes decreased physical abilities. To set the record straight, in almost all cases it is against the law to treat a woman different on the basis of pregnancy alone. You should also know that it against the law for an employer to fire a woman just because she is pregnant.

The federal government provides protection from workplace discrimination and wrongful termination for pregnant women with the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, or PDA. The Act forbids the termination of a woman just because she happens to become pregnant. The PDA also prohibits the following forms of discrimination against pregnant women:

-- Refusing to hire pregnant women even though they can perform the job

-- Refusing to provide equal pay for a job due to pregnancy

-- Refusing to promote a pregnant woman

-- Withholding benefits from pregnant women

-- Refusing to hold a job for a woman who is on leave for pregnancy-related reasons

In short, it is unlawful for employers to withhold the same benefits, privileges and treatment from a woman that other employees enjoy solely due to her pregnancy.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act goes into more detail about the proper treatment of pregnant women in the workplace than will fit into an ordinary blog post. If you suspect the presence of workplace discrimination because of your pregnancy, you can learn more by speaking with an employment attorney and providing the details of your case.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "Pregnancy Discrimination," accessed June 01, 2016

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