May 23, 2022

Volume XII, Number 143

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May 23, 2022

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Pregnancy Is a Protected Characteristic Under the Florida Civil Rights Act

In April 2014, the Florida Supreme Court, resolving the split in the Florida District Courts of Appeal, held that the Florida Civil Rights Act (“FCRA”) prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of pregnancyDelva v. Continental Group, Inc., 137 So. 3d 371 (Fla. 2014). In its 6-1 decision, the Supreme Court found that “the statutory phrase making it an ‘unlawful employment practice for an employer . . . to discriminate . . . because of . . . sex,’ as used in the FCRA, includes discrimination based on pregnancy, which is a natural condition and primary characteristic unique to the female sex.” Potential liability exposure for employers under the FCRA is greater than under the federal pregnancy discrimination prohibition in that compensatory damages under the FCRA, unlike its federal counterpart, are uncapped. Worldwide and nationwide employers should also keep in mind that the FCRA has been interpreted to apply to companies employing as little as one employee in Florida so long as they have 15 or more employees anywhere in the world.

© 2022 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume IV, Number 287
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About this Author

Allan H Weitzman, Proskauer Rose Law Firm, Labor Employment Attorney
Partner

Allan H. Weitzman, named by Best Lawyers as “Lawyer of the Year 2013” in Employment Law – Management in the Miami area, is a Partner in the Labor &  Employment Law Department and head of the labor and employment team in the Boca Raton office. He also is co-head of the Employment Law Counseling & Training, Non-Compete & Trade Secrets and Accessibility & Accommodations Groups, as well as a member of the International Labor & Employment Group.

561-995-4760
Jurate Schwartz, Whistleblower Attorney, Proskauer Rose Law Firm
Special Employment Law Counsel

Jurate Schwartz is an Associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department, who devotes her practice to representing employers in federal and state litigations, arbitrations and administrative proceedings, as well as counseling clients in employment matters.

561-995-4732
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