Pregnancy Discrimination Is Prohibited By Florida Law
In April 2014, the Florida Supreme Court held in Delva v. The Continental Group, Inc. that the prohibition against discrimination on the basis of sex in employment practices under the Florida Civil Rights Act (“FCRA”) includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. In reaching this conclusion, the court reasoned that “discrimination based on pregnancy is in fact discrimination based on sex because it is discrimination as to a natural condition unique to only one sex and that arises because of an individual’s sex.”
In finding that the FCRA prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, the Florida Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Third District Court of Appeal which held that the FCRA does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. Thus, the Florida Supreme Court reversed the appellate court’s determination that pregnancy discrimination in the workplace is not unlawful under Florida law. In doing so, the Florida Supreme Court also reversed the Third District Court’s dismissal of the plaintiff’s pregnancy discrimination lawsuit under the FCRA and reinstated the plaintiff’s case. The Florida Supreme Court’s decision in Delva also eviscerated a long line of decisions dating back to the 1990’s by federal courts in Florida holding that pregnancy discrimination in the workplace is not unlawful under Florida law and dismissing pregnancy discrimination lawsuits brought under the FCRA.
Following the Delva decision, the Florida Legislature passed Senate Bill 982 which essentially codifies Delva and makes pregnancy discrimination in employment practices unlawful under the FCRA. The bill became effective on July 1, 2015.
We have extensive experience representing employees who have been subjected to pregnancy discrimination and other types of discrimination in the workplace. If you have been subjected to pregnancy discrimination or have any questions regarding pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, please contact our office for a free consultation.