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Pregnancy discrimination guideline changes could impact Florida


Anti-discrimination laws and guidelines are in place in Florida and across the country to better ensure that all workers are given a fair shot at employment. Unfortunately, even with these laws in place, employees can still be subjected to unfair treatment due to discriminatory actions. When many cases of discrimination continue to be brought up, changes to guidelines may be needed to ensure that employers and workers alike understand what certain actions could mean.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently updated the guidelines concerning pregnancy discrimination. The updates were done in an attempt to make clearer the responsibilities of employers in regards to pregnant employees and employees who could potentially become pregnant. Employers and potential employers are not allowed to reduce a person’s workplace position, refuse to hire or terminate a worker from their position due to being pregnant.

Employers should also take certain steps to ensure that workers who are affected by pregnancy-related disabilities are treated fairly. This could mean that employers should lighten workloads for employees who cannot lift heavy objects or stand for long periods of time. Individuals who just had a child also should not have their job position negatively affected under the assumption that having a child will affect her ability to complete tasks.

Having a child should be a joyous occasion, and not one that causes fear of losing a job. Concerned individuals in Florida may wish to look into the changes in pregnancy discrimination guidelines in order to ensure that employers and employees alike are aware of what could constitute discrimination. If an individual feels that she was discriminated against due to pregnancy, she may wish to consider her legal options for rectifying the situation.

Source: The New York Times, "Equal Opportunity Employment Officials Take New Aim at Pregnancy Bias", Steven Greenhouse, July 14, 2014

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