Pregnancy discrimination in Miami is a form of gender discrimination that is illegal under federal and state laws. It occurs when an employee or job applicant is treated unfairly or harassed by her employer, supervisor/manager, CEO, co-workers, vendors, clients/customers. Or other non-employees because she is pregnant or expecting, recently gave birth, or is experiencing medical issues related to her pregnancy. For the past 25 years, the experienced lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group have helped victims of pregnancy discrimination, just like you, receive the compensation they deserve.
What is Discrimination Based on Pregnancy in Miami?
When an employee or job applicant is treated unfairly or harassed by her employer, CEO, supervisor/manager, co-worker, client/customer, vendor, or other non-employee because she is pregnant or expecting, recently had a baby, or is experiencing medical issues relating to her pregnancy, she may be the victim of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. Pregnancy is one of the statuses that create a protected class of people. Other protected classes include race, religion, gender, sex, military status, color, national origin, sexual orientation, citizenship, age, and disability. The law prohibits any type of discrimination relating to these classes, such as refusing to hire, termination, demotion, reduction in salary, harassment, denying promotions, and denying job opportunities
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA) is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on pregnancy, medical conditions relating to pregnancy, or having just given birth. The law protects employees and job applicants in Miami businesses with 15 or more employees.
Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees who have worked with a company for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours in that 12-month period are permitted to take up to 12 weeks unpaid leave from their place of work with the expectation their job or a comparable job will be there for them when they return. The company must have 50 or more employees working within 75 miles of the employee’s location. Pregnancy and giving birth are among the covered conditions the law applies to.
The Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA) prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy for Florida employees and job applicants in businesses with 15 or more employees.
Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace may be difficult to prove if your boss is attempting to be coy about the reason you are being treated unfairly. However, there are ways to prove pregnancy discrimination in Miami through different types of evidence.
- Direct Evidence. Direct evidence is often called “the smoking gun.” This is when you are directly told, indirectly overhear, or read an email sent to you or intended for another person that states the reason you were treated unfairly or harassed is because you are pregnant. While it would be nice to think that no employer would ever be that rude, direct evidence can occur and is a great way to prove pregnancy discrimination in court.
- Disparate Evidence. Disparate evidence is much more common to come by. This evidence shows a cause and effect relationship between your pregnancy and discrimination. Typically, you will need to show a pattern that your boss or co-worker learned you were pregnant and then you were harassed or treated unfairly.
- Policy Evidence. Policy evidence is when a policy is discriminatory in nature. This may be intentionally done or unintentionally done. However, if you can prove that a policy exists regarding how pregnant women should be treated and it is unfair, then you can prove your case through using this policy.
As stated before, pregnancy discrimination may be blatant or may be a bit more hidden. Some examples of pregnancy discrimination in Miami may include, but are not limited to:
- A co-worker touching your belly without permission
- Your boss terminating you as soon as he discovered you are pregnant
- You supervisor refusing to put you on a project that you were promised because you are pregnant
- Being demoted because you need to work from home while on bed rest
- Not being permitted to go to pre-natal doctor’s appointments as needed
- Docking your pay for going to the bathroom more often than considered, “normal”
- Being denied the job because you are pregnant
- Your co-worker calls you “Preggers” every time he sees you, even though you have repeatedly asked him to stop
- You were not told about FMLA to use to care for your newborn baby, even though your company meets the requirements for you to use it as maternity leave.
- You are denied benefits for your pregnancy because you are a single woman
- The employer does not allow the pregnant job applicant to make use of the public accommodations in the building during her interview because she is pregnant
- Your co-worker sends out daily emails making crude jokes about pregnant women even though you have complained to your supervisor about it.
- You are demoted because you complained to HR about being harassed for being pregnant
PDA claims are handled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In Florida, you have 300 days to file a claim with the EEOC, who will investigate the claim to determine that it falls under the guidelines of pregnancy discrimination. If it qualifies, you will receive a Right to Sue letter to allow you to file a lawsuit in federal court.
To file an FMLA claim, you must file the lawsuit in federal court within the 2-year time limit (for accidental violations) and 3-year time limit (for willful violations).
Under the FCRA, you have a time limit of 1 year to file a claim with the Florida Human Relations Commission (FHRC). Under Florida’s work-sharing agreement, if you file a claim with the EEOC or the FHRC, the claim will also be filed with the other governing agencies.
As a victim of pregnancy discrimination in Miami, you deserve compensation for your hardships and suffering during what should have been one of the most joyous times of your life. The courts may offer some of the following remedies for your claim:
- Reinstatement of employment and/or benefits
- Reimbursement of benefit premiums
- Reimbursement of medical and other related expenses
- Reassignment or termination of the person responsible for the discriminatory behavior
- Reviewing and revamping pregnancy policies
- Back pay
- Future pay
- Attorney’s fees
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages
A pregnancy discrimination lawsuit in Miami may last anywhere from 4 to 6 months to a year or more, depending on the details of the case. If your employer is willing to negotiate a fair settlement prior to going to trial, your case may settle in as little as 4 to 6 months.
However, if your employer refuses to negotiate or wants to go to trial, preparing your case may take 8 months to a year or more. The trial may then take a few days to several weeks or more before a judgment is entered by the court.
You are likely overwhelmed with your new baby and all that is happening in your life. The thought of filing suit against your employer may be tempting but may be a little much to think about at the moment. Take some time to decide what you want to do. However, while you are making the decision, here are a few things you can do to help move your case along.
- Contact an experienced pregnancy discrimination attorney immediately.
- If you are still working, do not quit your job until you consult your attorney.
- If your company has an HR department, file a complaint for pregnancy discrimination in writing as soon as possible.
- If your company has a pregnancy discrimination policy, follow it.
- Gather evidence. Document every incident including what occurred, who was involved, when and where it occurred, and any witnesses.
- Do not waste time. Your time to file a claim for pregnancy discrimination is limited. Do not wait until it is too late.
Pregnancy is full of wonder and surprises. Yet no one should ever have to wonder or be surprised by pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. If you are the victim of pregnancy discrimination in Miami, our team of experienced lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group can help. Contact us today at (305) 946-1884 for a free consultation to learn your rights and get the financial compensation that you deserve. We do not collect any money until we help you win your case.
Types of Workplace Discrimination Cases We Handle in Miami:
- Race Discrimination
- Color Discrimination
- National Origin Discrimination
- Religion Discrimination
- Age (over 40) Discrimination
- Disability Discrimination
- Gender or Sex Discrimination
- Sexual Orientation Discrimination
- Genetic Information Discrimination
- Equal Pay/Compensation Discrimination
- Ethnic Discrimination
- LGBT Discrimination
- Hair Discrimination