CONTACT: Landra Robeson,
LEGISLATORS FILE BILLS PROTECTING FLORIDA’S MOMS-TO-BE FROM DISCRIMINATION
(Senate Bill 774/House Bill 717)
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— Pregnant women victimized by discrimination in the workplace could finally win protections under the Florida Civil Rights Act. That is if legislation sponsored by Senator Geraldine Thompson (D-Orlando) wins passage in the 2013 Legislative Session.
Also sponsored by Representative Lori Berman (D-Lantana), the bill would bring Florida in line with federal protections against such discrimination afforded under the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Over the years, most federal and state courts have held that Florida’s Civil Rights Act does not protect pregnant women against discrimination by an employer. Most recently, such a ruling was made by the 3rd District Court of Appeals which noted Florida’s failure to amend its human rights law to prohibit pregnancy-based discrimination.
“We need to do everything we can to protect women from employment discrimination,” said Senator Thompson. “The ability to bring home a pay check shouldn’t hinge on pregnancy and childbirth. This bill boosts a pregnant woman’s right to earn a living without fear of retaliation.”
Representative Berman added, “It is time that we bring Florida in compliance with federal discrimination laws and this bill would do just that. Working women should be treated no differently than their male counterparts. I am proud to be sponsoring this bill.”
Filed at the request of the Florida Commission on Human Relations, the legislation will have no fiscal impact to the state or private sector.