TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Florida is one state that doesn’t currently protect pregnant women in the workplace. Legislation to give work place protections to those who are expecting is moving through committees in the State Capitol.
It’s illegal to fire Employees because of their race, sex, or other attributes, but not pregnancy. Florida Democratic Senator Geraldine Thompson says pregnant women facing discrimination in the workplace.
“We had one case where a woman worked in a restaurant and during her pregnancy as it advanced she was told that she was too large to work in the restaurant.”
Florida courts have issued different rulings on pregnancy discrimination. That’s why Senator Thompson says the law needs to be clarified this session. “Right now there’s some confusion as to whether discrimination based on pregnancy is prohibited in the state of Florida.”
Women Rights Activist Barbara DeVane says something should have been done years ago.
“A lot of times it’s a single woman who are trying to raise a family and that’s their economic base.”
The bill passed a Senate Committee unanimously. Opponents have argued pregnant women are already covered under the “gender” category -- like it is under federal law. Those in support of the Florida proposal say that’s not true. “Federal law is very specific it has an amendment to the civil rights law act that adds pregnancy, no discrimination against pregnancy.”
With a majority of Republicans in the Florida House and Senate – the bill faces an uphill battle.
The house bill also passed its first committee today with one dissenting vote.