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Workplace discrimination claimed by pregnant hospital worker

Workers in Florida and elsewhere are protected by various laws, one of which is the Americans with Disabilities Act. An ex-employee of a hospital in another state is accusing her former employers of violating this law. She has recently filed a federal lawsuit alleging workplace discrimination. According to the lawsuit, the woman was employed as an admissions representative by the defendant and had been working for the company for 18 years.

She asserts that along with suffering from diabetes, she was about half way through a high-risk pregnancy when she requested to be allocated an air conditioned office. Her medical condition at the time made it difficult for her to breathe in unusually hot conditions. It is alleged that, as with other requests for breaks or time off during her pregnancy, the employer refused the request for air conditioning and told the employee that she could resign if she was unhappy with the work environment.

The plaintiff contends that air conditioned offices had been provided for other employees. She did not resign because her maternity leave was due to commence later that month. A colleague apparently allowed the plaintiff to use her office intermittently in the days prior to her maternity leave. When she returned to work three months later, she claims to have been called in for questioning about using the other office before she went on maternity leave. She explained that she used the office with the other person's consent.

However, although the company had no policy against one employee using the office of another, her employment was terminated four days after this meeting. Florida workers who experience workplace discrimination may also pursue civil claims to recover financial and emotional damages. Successfully presented claims may lead to monetary judgments for documented claims. These may include lost wages and benefits, along with other damages such as emotional pain and suffering, humiliation, anguish and inconvenience.

Source: citizensvoice.com, "Fired W-B Behavioral Hospital Co. employee files discrimination suit", James Halpin, Sept. 29, 2016

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