Although protections are in place to protect women who want to continue to work while pregnant, many companies believe that they are above the law and do not adhere to regulations. Each year, approximately 250,000 working pregnant women are denied their rights to reasonable accommodations, which ultimately can force them to work through the risks unsafely, go onto unpaid leaves early or lose their jobs all together. Women in Florida and elsewhere who are victimized for their pregnancies can look to the law to fight back against workplace discrimination.
United Bible Fellowship Ministries, Inc., was recently brought to court for having a zero-tolerance policy against pregnant women. According to this policy, if applicants were pregnant when they applied for jobs with the company, they were automatically turned down. Similarly, women who became pregnant were fired.
A former resource technician for the company claims that she was fired after she became pregnant. The company claims that the reason was to protect the plaintiff, her baby and the company's clients. The plaintiff contends that she was able to perform her job and that she did not have any medical restrictions that would have prevented her from doing so. Although she was told that she performed her duties well, the company held fast to its policy, and she was terminated.
The court ruled in favor of the plaintiff for her workplace discrimination lawsuit and was awarded approximately $25,000 for her lost income, overtime pay and interest. Additionally, she was awarded $50,000 for the emotional duress that she suffered. It is illegal for companies in Florida and elsewhere to discriminate against women who are pregnant. Based upon evidence of the unlawful discrimination, the women may be awarded financial redress and other relief as is warranted by a civil court.
Source: thinkprogress.org, "Nonprofit Ordered To Pay $75,000 Over 'No Pregnancy In The Workplace' Policy", Bryce Covert, May 29, 2015