Company Fired Employee Because She Was Pregnant, Federal Agency Charges
MIAMI – Florida Care ALF of Amelia Island, Inc., located in Ferdinand Beach, Florida, violated federal law when it fired an employee because she was pregnant, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
According to the EEOC’s suit, as soon as Florida Care ALF management learned that the employee was pregnant, her manager refused to give her any more shifts and terminated her.
Terminating an employee because of her pregnancy violates the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Florida Care ALF of Amelia Island, Inc., Case No. 3:23-cv-01130) in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The agency is seeking back pay and compensatory and punitive damages for the employee, as well as appropriate injunctive relief to prevent any further discriminatory practices.
“You cannot fire a woman because she is pregnant and might need maternity leave in the future,” said Robert E. Weisberg, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Miami District Office. “While this case was brought under Title VII, which has been protecting pregnant workers for decades, it highlights the need for the broader protections now in place under the new Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA).”
EEOC Miami District Office Director Evangeline Hawthorne said, “Our office is committed to fighting for Floridians’ right to work and have children. Employers should know that we will enforce Title VII and the PWFA to protect the rights of pregnant women.”
The EEOC’s Miami District Office is comprised of the Miami, Tampa and San Juan offices, and has jurisdiction over Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Although this charge was filed before the PWFA went into effect on June 27, 2023, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to workers who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, experiencing pregnancy-related medical conditions, or recovering from childbirth, unless it causes an undue hardship. For more information about the PWFA, visit https://www.eeoc.gov/statutes/pregnant-workers-fairness-act.
For more information on pregnancy discrimination, please visit https://www.eeoc.gov/pregnancy-discrimination.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.