This past April the Florida Supreme Court resolved a conflict between several lower appellate courts and ruled that pregnancy discrimination is prohibited under the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992.
The case arose when a front desk manager sued her former employer for discrimination based upon her pregnancy. The trial court granted the employer’s motion to dismiss the case finding that the Florida Civil Rights Act did not protect against discrimination based on pregnancy.
A lower appellate court agreed and affirmed the judgment of dismissal even though another appellate court (in another part of the state) had ruled otherwise.
The Florida Supreme Court resolved the conflict holding that because the Florida law was patterned under federal law and because pregnancy was uniquely a condition experienced by women, pregnancy discrimination was by its very nature discrimination based on an employee’s gender.
The Supreme Court also noted that its ruling was consistent with the law’s stated purpose of ensuring that women in Florida are free from discrimination based on their gender.
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